Island Health has announced another northern Vancouver Island temporary health centre closure, this time on Cormorant Island.
Cormorant Island is located off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island and is the traditional home of the ‘Namgis First Nation. The island has a population of roughly 1,275 residents.
“Due to limited staffing availability Island Health is advising community residents and visitors to the area that the Cormorant Island Community Health Centre (CICHC) emergency department (ED) will be temporarily closed from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. between Aug. 2 and Aug. 16,” said Island Health in a statement to media on July 29. “Anyone experiencing a medical emergency while the ED is closed should call 911. Do not go to the CICHC ED during the hours it is closed, as this will delay your access to care. Island Health and BC Emergency Health Services have protocols in place to ensure patients are transported to an appropriate alternate site.”
Island Health added that similar to all other health authorities in B.C. and across Canada, it is “extremely challenged by the health workforce shortage. At this time, Island Health does not have enough nursing staff in the region to maintain safe, consistent 24/7 ED services at the CICHC. This is being done to ensure the safety of patients. You have to have a minimum level of staff in order for patients to be safe. This planned closure also enables Island Health to ensure consistent, reliable and safe care so the CICHC ED can remain fully operational from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.”
Over the next two weeks and beyond, Island Health says it will be focused on securing additional nursing coverage, with the goal of resuming 24/7 ED services at the CICHC as quickly as possible.
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 acknowledges this is not an ideal situation for the community and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience experienced by this temporary service reduction.”