Staff shortages shut down Western Hospital's CEC for summer

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Health P.E.I. said in a news release Monday the hospital's Collaborative Emergency Centre will shut down in the evening and stay closed until Sept. 15.  (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)
Health P.E.I. said in a news release Monday the hospital's Collaborative Emergency Centre will shut down in the evening and stay closed until Sept. 15. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)

The Western Hospital's Collaborative Emergency Centre will remain closed until the end of the summer due to continued staff shortages.

Health P.E.I. said in a news release Monday the centre will shut down in the evening and stay closed until Sept. 15, with the plan possibly being revaluated in the future.

Some staff will be reassigned to the Alberton hospital's inpatient unit, emergency department and ambulatory care while the centre is closed.

The CEC provides emergency services between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. from paramedics with Advanced Life Support training and emergency nurses who provide urgent care assessment in consultation with an on-call emergency physician. Health P.E.I. said on average less than one patient visits the centre per night.

The emergency department — which offers services from an emergency physician, nursing and health care workers and meets established emergency department staffing criteria — will remain open.

Western Hospital has been plagued by staffing issues this year, with the centre regularly shutting down during weekends in recent months.

"Like everywhere else in Canada, our health care system is under extreme strain, and that's not going to end any time soon," Health P.E.I. CEO Dr. Michael Gardam said in the release.

"It's better to make these calls in advance, so we can deploy our resources to provide the best care possible."

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