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More Alberta hospital services unavailable due to staff shortages

A staffing shortage has forced the temporary closure of some services at three rural hospitals Jan. 15, 2021. Getty Images

A shortage of doctors and hospital staff has again forced the temporary closure of some services at three rural hospitals.

In particular, obstetrics is unavailable at the Rocky Mountain House Health Centre until Monday morning.

Expectant parents are advised to head to the Red Deer Regional Hospital — about an hour away — when care is required.

The Rocky Mountain House closure is an addition to the ongoing closure of obstetrics in Sundre and Rimbey.

Read more: Fort Saskatchewan hospital suspends services for pregnant women due to COVID-19 impact on staffing

Meanwhile, the Fairview Health Complex was without a doctor Friday night.

And the emergency department in Cold Lake will be without a physician, periodically, throughout the weekend until Tuesday.

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Nurses will still be on site to triage patients.

The province is failing Albertans, the NDP said in a news release sent on Saturday.

Read more: High surgical loads, staffing shortage lead to patient transfers out of Red Deer

“Nixon is failing his constituents by remaining silent while services are cut in all of the hospitals in his riding. Delivering babies is one of the basic functions of a hospital, but now expecting parents have to travel outside their communities to give birth thanks to the UCP,” said Health Critic David Shepherd.

“This crisis in hospital staffing is the result of the UCP’s war on healthcare professionals and the UCP botched response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Shepherd added.

“I am extremely concerned that we will see more closures as the pressure on our hospitals increases. Jason Copping and the UCP continue to hide the AHS two-week forecast on the demand for hospital and ICU beds.”

The latest wave of ER and obstetrics closures follows recent closures in Swan River and Wabasca.

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