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‘A system in trouble’: Oliver emergency closes twice during Labour Day weekend

Oliver residents will be without emergency care Monday night into Tuesday morning
Oliver Emerg closes twice on Labour Day long weekend. (File photo)

Doctor shortages continue to cut emergency care off for Oliver residents.

This time, Interior Health sent out a release on Labour Day Monday that the emergency department hours at South Okanagan General Hospital will be unavailable from 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4 until 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5 due to lack of physicians.

Patients in need of emergency care have to access care at Penticton Regional Hospital.

In an earlier interview with the Western News, Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen said consistent closures of the emergency is ‘completely unacceptable’ but the closures on a long weekend was unprecedented.

Initially on Friday, IH announced that the Oliver hospital emergency would be closed for 48 hours of the long weekend.

That would have been the longest closure of the department to date. But they found some doctors to cover a shift and changed it to a 24-hour closure instead.

“This is reaching a level that is showing that the system is in definite trouble,” said Johansen.

— with files from reporter Brennan Phillips

READ MORE: ‘Completely unacceptable’: Oliver Mayor decries shutdown of hospital emerg during long weekend

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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