Labour shortage forces P.E.I. hospital to warn of reduced access to epidurals

·1 min read

CHARLOTTETOWN — A hospital in Prince Edward Island is warning patients that some epidural services may be unavailable until the end of next week.

The province says in a news release that Prince County Hospital in Summerside, P.E.I., has only one anesthetist, who may not be available between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Sept. 2.

All four of the hospital's anesthetist positions are vacant, leaving it dependent on doctors from nearby facilities.

Dr. Hani Farag, head of obstetrics at Prince County Hospital, says the facility offers a variety of pain-management options other than epidurals.

The statement says the reduction is not related to the ongoing countrywide epidural supply issue.

A shortage of epidural tubes used to provide the pain medication is affecting several regions of Canada, especially British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2022.

The Canadian Press