Glengarry hospital not fully reopening as planned

·2 min read
A sign at the Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria, Ont., alerts people on July 15, 2022, that the emergency room is now closed overnight. (Jacques Corriveau/Radio-Canada - image credit)
A sign at the Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria, Ont., alerts people on July 15, 2022, that the emergency room is now closed overnight. (Jacques Corriveau/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria, Ont., continues to struggle with staffing shortages.

The emergency room has been partially closed for more than two weeks, and won't be fully reopening Wednesday as originally announced.

It will now be open 24 hours each day from Monday to Thursday.

From Friday to Sunday, no patients will be admitted between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.

"Given the extreme staffing pressures we have been experiencing, we are not yet in a position to open fully seven days per week," a statement issued Tuesday from Glengarry Memorial Hospital said.

This plan, referred to as a "gradual resumption plan," is expected to be in place until at least Aug. 22, according to the statement.

Hospital administrators say they will review "delicate staffing situations" on a daily basis.

Jacques Corriveau/Radio-Canada
Jacques Corriveau/Radio-Canada

"We remain committed to exploring all options to stabilize staffing, return to normal operations and to ensure the continued safety of our patients and staff. The hospital has been actively recruiting new nurses, working with temporary staffing agencies, welcoming nurses back from leaves of absence, and assessing alternate models of care to address the system wide health human resource shortage that we are experiencing at HGMH," said Robert Alldred-Hughes, president and CEO, in the statement.

On July 15, the day the partial closure began, management quantified its personnel mandate by saying it was looking for 13 nurses, a figure which represents 30 per cent of vacant positions.

The Alexandria-area hospital's challenges aren't unique in the health-care sector.

In July, the Perth campus of Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital was forced to extend its originally scheduled closure of five days .

About 25 Ontario hospitals were forced to cut services over the long weekend due to staffing shortages, according to a provincial union that represents nurses. On Tuesday, Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones called the situation a disaster, saying she was trying to find solutions as well.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting