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Rocky Mountain House Health Centre emergency department to close over 16-hour period

May 12, 2021

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE — The Rocky Mountain House Health Centre emergency department (ED) will be temporarily without physician coverage from Wednesday, May 12, at 6 p.m., to Thursday, May 13, at 7 a.m.

This is a temporary situation, due to COVID-19 impacting the availability of physicians across the zone who are able to provide locum coverage. Central Alberta has a number of physicians who are impacted by COVID-19 or in isolation due to being a close contact, limiting available resources.

The ED closed this afternoon at 3 p.m. to allow physicians and staff to treat and discharge all remaining patients in the department. New patients will not be admitted into the department during this temporary closure.

AHS exhausted all efforts to find physician coverage during this time, locally, within Central Zone, and provincially, but have not been able to find physicians to cover the ED during this time.

AHS is working hard to ensure local residents continue to have access to the care they need during this time. Inpatient units are not impacted by this closure, and on-call coverage for obstetrical patients will continue to be available for patients who may present to the emergency department in active labour.

Patients requiring urgent emergency medical care during this time are asked to call 911. Additional EMS supports will be available to transport patients who may need it.

EMS calls will be re-routed to surrounding facilities, including the Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Centre, Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre, Sundre Hospital and Care Centre and Red Deer Regional Hospital and Care Centre.

Depending on their needs, patients seeking care at the emergency department in Rocky Mountain House may also be made aware of services available through local pharmacies and the Primary Care Network. Residents are reminded to call Health Link at 811, which is available 24/7, for non-emergency, health-related questions.

AHS is thankful for the support of surrounding healthcare centres and medical staff, and would like to thank the community for their 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.