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Oliver hospital's emergency room set to close for 2nd time in 3 nights

Doctor shortage again closes department
Physician shortage temporary closes Oliver hospital emergency. (File photo)

For the second time since late last weekend, Interior Health (IH) says Oliver hospital's emergency room is temporarily closing due to a doctor shortage.

Emergency services will be unavailable at the South Okanagan General Hospital from 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, until 7 a.m. on Thursday, June 13.

The overnight closure marks the second of its kind at the hospital since Sunday, June 9.

Patients can access care at the Penticton Regional Hospital during this time, IH added.

Oliver's emergency department has been plagued with closures for several months.

The regularity of the shutdowns even prompted Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen last fall to call the situation "unacceptable."

Such service interruptions -- which happened more than a dozen times to end 2023 and another several times to start 2024 -- also come after the B.C. government committed $7.5 million to help stabilize physical emergency-room coverage at hospitals in Oliver, Merritt and Salmon Arm. That pledge was made in October.

B.C. Premier David Eby, while speaking at the Oliver hospital on May 29, said the South Okanagan and Similkameen Primary Care Network would soon be expanding. Those efforts would provide additional healthcare workers to people living in the community, he added.




About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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