Alberta Health Services (AHS) has issued a release stating that there will be no overnight physician coverage for 12 hours at the Barrhead Healthcare Centre starting at 8 p.m. tonight, Nov. 30.
The release states that patients are asked to call 911 if they have a medical emergency. EMS calls will then be re-routed to either the Westlock Healthcare Centre or the Whitecourt Healthcare Centre.
Depending on their needs, patients seeking care at the emergency department in Barrhead may also be made aware of services available through local pharmacies. As well, if you have a non-emergency health-related question, you may call Health Link at 811, which is available 24/7.
The release does not specify a reason for the lack of overnight physician coverage, though with other interruptions in emergency department services, it is likely due to staffing shortages.
Earlier this summer, a lack of physician coverage resulted in the temporary closure of the healthcare centre’s obstetrics program and 10 in-patient beds.
The release ends by stating, “AHS appreciates the support of surrounding healthcare centres and medical staff, and thanks the community for its patience and understanding during this time."