The Port McNeill Hospital (PMH) will be closed from 7:00 a.m. March 4 until 12:00 p.m. March 7 with no new patients being admitted.
Why? According to Island Health, a doctor shortage is causing the issue.
“Island Health was notified on March 3 that the physician scheduled to provide coverage for PMH this upcoming weekend would unexpectedly not be available,” the organization said in a statement to media. “Despite immediate and significant effort from local leadership to find alternate physician coverage, physician coverage has not been secured.”
Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911 or, if possible, proceed to Port Hardy Hospital. Island Health and BC Emergency Health Services have protocols in place to ensure patients are transported to the appropriate site.
If you are unsure if you are experiencing a medical situation requiring a visit to an emergency department, confidential health information and advice from a registered nurse is available toll free, 24/7 by calling HealthLink BC at 811.
Island Health will continue to seek physician coverage and will notify the community of any changes to the situation.
“Island Health acknowledges this is not an ideal situation for the community and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience experienced by this temporary service reduction.”
Longtime Port McNeill-based doctor Prean Armogam, who has been at odds with Island Health over the last year and has opened his own private clinic in town, said he was not surprised by the news as he is currently under the weather at the moment and wasn’t able to fill the shifts.
“The doctor situation in Port McNeill remains a challenge despite the best efforts of the town and local resources,” he said. “We still struggle on a daily basis and this is the consequence of that.”