Services at Moncton Hospital ER return to normal following weekend of overcapacity

Moncton Hospital. Callum Smith/Global News

The Horizon Health Network announced Monday that services at the Moncton Hospital Emergency Department have returned to normal, following an excessively busy weekend fraught with staffing challenges.

According the hospital’s chief of staff, Dr. Ken Gillespie, patients had been waiting 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Unfortunately, we kind of know from experience that Sunday nights and Monday mornings are usually a very busy time in the emergency room. We usually do see an influx of patients at that time for whatever reason,” Gillespie said to Global on Sunday.

READ MORE: Horizon Health urges public to limit use of Moncton Hospital ER due to overcapacity

There are normally 26 beds in emergency, with 20 in acute care and six in trauma, but the emergency department reached overcapacity as all the beds were filled in the weekend.

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Moreover, 12 people called in sick on Sunday and the hospital couldn’t replace those shifts.

“It’s always difficult to replace the calls because you’re asking people to come in and work on a day when they weren’t expecting to work. And in particular, that’s always more difficult on the weekends. And always more difficult during holiday seasons because people are away,” Gillespie said.

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He said the nursing shortage is a “chronic problem” not unique to the Moncton hospital.

“Every hospital is experiencing that,” said Gillespie. “The problem that occurs when you get an uptick in the demand for those resources, there’s very little flexibility.”

Despite having services return to normal, Horizon is still recommending the public to visit for information about their other health-care options in the Moncton area to help reduce overcapacity and long-wait times.

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Winnipeg ER, urgent care wait times spike over holiday season – Dec 31, 2019

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