Ponoka emergency department to close overnight Tuesday

February 14, 2022

PONOKA — The Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre emergency department (ED) will be temporarily without physician coverage overnight from 5 p.m. February 14 to 8 a.m. on February 15.

As a result, the ED will close beginning at 5 p.m. today. New patients will not be admitted into the department after this time.

This is a temporary measure due to unexpected physician illness and all other services at the site continue to operate as normal. Inpatient units are not affected by this closure.

Patients presenting to the site seeking ED services will be assessed by nursing staff and referred to emergency departments in surrounding communities depending on their condition. Patients with non-urgent conditions will be redirected to other care options as appropriate.

Patients requiring emergency medical care during this time are asked to call 911. EMS calls will be re-routed to surrounding facilities, including the Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre, Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre, and Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Residents are reminded to call Health Link at 811, which is available 24/7, for non-emergency, health-related questions.

Such a closure is a temporary measure taken as a last resort. Efforts to secure alternative locum coverage have been exhausted to avoid a disruption in services for the community. AHS is grateful for the support of surrounding healthcare centres and medical staff and would like to thank the community for its patience and understanding during this time.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.