UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.
The decreased hours at Keremeos' emergency department are due to unvaccinated staff who are unable to practice.
Health minister Adrian Dix confirmed Monday morning that a "large percentage" of what is a relatively small staffing group for the facility are not working due to being unvaccinated.
Throughout Interior Health, five per cent of all IH employees are currently off the job for that reason.
"That means that hours are being adjusted ... none of this is desirable, it's necessary and all the staff in Interior Health in particular are doing an excellent job responding to these circumstances," Dix said.
ORIGINAL: 10:20 a.m.
A shortage of physicians has led to new reduced emergency department hours at Keremeos' South Similkameen Health Centre.
Interior Health sent out an advisory Monday morning that effective immediately, the ER will be open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Previously, it had been open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a physician on call at other times.
The reduction in hours is described as "temporary."
Residents who need care while the department is closed are advised to call 911 in an emergency, or visit one of the following facilities:
- Penticton Regional Hospital, 550 Carmi Ave
- South Okanagan GeneralHospital, 911 McKinney Road, Oliver
- Princeton General Hospital, 98 Ridgewood Drive
Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 (24 hour service) if you are unsure of your need to seek emergency care.