Doctor shortage prompts temporary closure Wednesday of emergency room at Merritt hospital

Merritt ER closed for the day

The emergency department at Nicola Valley Hospital in Merritt will be closed during the day on Wednesday due to a shortage of doctors.

Interior Health issued a public service announcement on Tuesday afternoon alerting Merritt-area residents to the closure. An alert was also sent out on Voyent.

The department will be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Emergency services will be unavailable and patients can access care at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops,” IH said in the statement.

“Emergency department services will be available again in Merritt at 5 p.m. Wednesday.”

IH said all other inpatient services at Nicola Valley Hospital will continue as normal throughout the day Wednesday.

“People in the community who need life-threatening emergency care — i.e. chest pains, difficulty breathing, severe bleeding — should always call 911 for transport to the nearest available and appropriate facility,” the statement said.

IH encouraged anyone wondering whether an emergency room visit is warranted to call HealthLink BC at 811.

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