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Temporary shut down for Shuswap Lake General ICU
A temporary shortage of internal medicine doctors meant the three-bed intensive care unit at Shuswap Lake General Hospital had to be moved down to the emergency department over the weekend.
Peter Du Toit, acute care director for Interior Health’s Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap region, says the shortage was unexpected.
Shuswap Lake General has three internal medicine doctors at this time – Chris Main, Scott McKee and Danny Myers, who has been working here part-time since moving to Victoria.
“With Danny going away it’s been tough for the other doctors to keep coverage, but they’ve been doing a great job,” says Du Toit, noting two more internists are expected to arrive at the end of the year. “If there is a need for a change (in service), patient safety is always the first priority.”
Du Toit says the emergency department is staffed by advanced critical care doctors and nurses, so quality of care remains at the same high level as ICU.
The point is moot, because there were no patients in ICU last Friday when the service was moved, nor did any arrive over the weekend.
The ICU service returned to normal on Monday morning.
Du Toit says that while wait times do fluctuate, usually increasing when the wards get backed up, emergency has been doing well lately.
He acknowledges that the new 70-bed Mt. Ida Mews on Shuswap Street is nearly full, something that has made a difference in ensuring patients are getting the appropriate level of care.
Over at Bastion Place, Du Toit says plans for the long-term care facility are still underway, with different options being presented – plans, he says, that should be revealed soon.