The closure is a response to staffing issues at the health centre (pictured). File photo

Elkford shuts down emergency department

Elkford residents requiring emergency care are now to visit Fernie and Sparwood’s health centres

As of April 1, 2020, the Elkford Health Centre’s emergency department will be closed until after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

In consolidation with pandemic planning work in the East Kootenay, Interior Health passed the decision in an effort to ease ongoing staffing challenges. The changes will ensure that stable emergency services will be available for residents across the Elk Valley.

In the event of an emergency, residents are reminded to still call 9-1-1. If a visit to the emergency department is required, the Sparwood Health Centre remains open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., as does the Elk Valley Hospital in Fernie, which currently maintains a 24-hour service. Those unsure about whether or not to visit the emergency department are instructed to call HealthLinkBC’s 24-hour hotline at 8-1-1. The Elkford Health Centre will however remain open for scheduled primary care appointments, lab, and X-ray services, including any new telehealth appointments.

Interior Health regrets any inconveniences these changes will cause. For more information about the pandemic, visit the Interior Health website at News.interiorhealth.ca/covid-19/.



reporter@thefreepress.ca

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