Home News and Politics Another shocking closure! South Okanagan General Hospital forced to temporarily shut down ER again

Another shocking closure! South Okanagan General Hospital forced to temporarily shut down ER again

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Another shocking closure! South Okanagan General Hospital forced to temporarily shut down ER again

Due to limited physician availability, Oliver, B.C.-area residents will have no access to the South Okanagan General Hospital emergency department service through much of Saturday.

Interior Health said in a statement released Friday that emergency services will not be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 14. Patients can access care at Penticton Regional Hospital during this time.

All other inpatient services will continue as normal at South Okanagan General Hospital.

Without an ER in Oliver, area residents must travel up to an hour for health care. This is especially challenging during the summer as the population more than doubles.

“There’s a normal population in this area of around 18,000 but swells to 40,000 and suddenly there’s no hospital,” Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen said in an interview last money.

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Click to play video: 'Solutions approved for ongoing ER closures'


Solutions approved for ongoing ER closures


“That’s an over-hour trip by ambulance to Penticton Regional Hospital, and that’s from Oliver, not from Bridesville, Nighthawk, or Osoyoos. We’ve really got a challenge going on here.”

The mayor said he believe that although there is no silver bullet to fix the problem there are things that can be done to stabilize the issue.

One solution that has been put forward to doctors and has since been put forward to the Ministry of Health, as well, is moving to a contract system and alternative-payment program.

People in the community who need life-threatening emergency care, i.e., chest pains, difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, should always call 911 for transport to the nearest available and appropriate facility.

The emergency department in Oliver is normally open 24/7.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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