This weekend, ambulances will be temporarily diverted from the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre to the Moncton Hospital as the province’s two provincial health authorities struggle with staffing shortages.
“The shortage of nurses has hit us hard and the emergency department at the Dumont is especially affected,” Dr. France Desrosiers, president and CEO of the Vitalité Health Network, said in a release Friday evening.
“We now have no other choice but to apply this unpopular, but necessary, decision for the safety of patients and staff.”
Vitalité operates the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont hospital and Horizon Health Network operates the Moncton Hospital.
Both of the hospitals’ emergency departments will remain open for walk-in patients, the release said.
The measure will come into effect Saturday at 8 a.m. and will continue until Monday at 10 a.m.
“Our emergency department staff and physicians in Moncton have shown great collaboration over the years, and even though we are all struggling to deal with staff shortages, we will continue to support our colleagues at Vitalité,” Karen McGrath, Horizon’s president and CEO, said in the release.
“We want to ensure the public that if they do have a medical emergency we will provide them safe and quality care.”
The release said anyone who has a medical emergency should call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency department. It said patients with non-urgent medical problems could experience long wait times if they go to emergency departments because hospitals are prioritizing “the sickest and most vulnerable patients.”
“We are urging the public in the Moncton area to think about their options for receiving care – please keep the Emergency Departments for emergencies,” the release said. “We encourage you to visit SoWhyWait.ca to help choose the best option for care in the Moncton area.”