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Merritt emergency department closed due to doctor shortage

The closure is due to limited physician availability. Google Maps

Another emergency department has temporarily closed in B.C.’s Southern Interior.

Merritt residents will be without an emergency department Monday, with the Nicola Valley Hospital closing that part of the facility from 8 a.m. July 4 until 8 a.m. July 5, due to unforeseen limited physician availability.

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Interior Health is advising area residents that if they need help, in the event of an emergency, call 911 or use the emergency department at  Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops or Kelowna General Hospital.

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Read more: Staff shortage temporarily closed Merritt hospital’s emergency department

Others are advised to call HealthLink BC at 811 if they are unsure of the need to seek emergency care.

Emergency department closures have become increasingly common in recent months.

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In an interview last month, Interior Health indicated both staffing and capacity challenges are issues facing health care across the health authority, B.C. and Canada.

There are numerous job postings on Interior Health’s website and recruitment is an ongoing project.

Read more: Wait time at B.C. Children’s Hospital emergency department exceeds nine hours over weekend

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