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Emergency department in Alert Bay, B.C., closed again due to staff shortage

Cormorant Island Health Centre is seen in this photo from the Island Health website. ( Cormorant Island Health Centre is seen in this photo from the Island Health website. (

There will be no emergency medical services available in Alert Bay, B.C., this long weekend.

Health authorities on Vancouver Island say the Cormorant Island Community Health Centre (CIHC) will remain closed due to a staff shortage from 7 p.m. Thursday until 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Rolling closures of emergency rooms on the North Island have been routine since last summer, even as the provincial government announced in January that emergency services would be restored at the Cormorant Island Health Centre and the Port Hardy Hospital.

The province cut operating hours at the Alert Bay emergency department to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily in an effort to keep it at least partially open amid a lack of trained health-care workers.

Anyone experiencing a medical emergency while the Cormorant Island centre's emergency room is closed is asked to call 911.

Those in need of medical care can also call HealthLink BC at 811 to speak with a registered nurse for advice and to see if a trip to an emergency department in another community is necessary.

"Do not go to the CICHC [emergency department] during the hours it is closed, as this will delay your access to care," Island Health said in a statement Thursday.

"Island Health and BC Emergency Health Services have protocols in place to ensure patients are transported to an appropriate alternate site."

The health authority said it "acknowledges this is not an ideal situation for the community and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience experienced by this temporary service interruption." Top Stories

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