Merritt and area residents in need of the Nicola Valley Hospital’s emergency department will have to travel further Monday.
From Monday until 8 a.m. Tuesday, emergency services will be unavailable and Interior Health said patients will have to access care at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, which is around an hour away.
“During this time, all other inpatient services will continue as normal at Nicola Valley Hospital,” Interior Health stated.
“People in the community who need life-threatening emergency care, (such as) chest pains, difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, should always call 911 for transport to the nearest available and appropriate facility.”
The service interruption is the latest in a series of closures plaguing rural and remote hospitals across B.C. amid chronic nurse and doctor shortages.
Anyone unsure whether an emergency room visit is warranted can call HealthLink BC or visit HealthLinkBC.ca for non-emergency health information from nurses, dietitians and pharmacists 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
The emergency department in Merritt is normally open 24/7.