For the second time in 24 hours, Interior Health has announced that the South Okanagan General Hospital’s emergency department will be closed.
The closure at the Oliver hospital is due to an ongoing doctor shortage and will be in effect from 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, to 8 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10.
Patients can access care at the Penticton Regional Hospital during this time, IH said.
This marks the eighth time since Nov. 23, that emergency services in Oliver have been made unavailable.
The emergency department reopened at 1 p.m. Saturday, following an overnight closure that began at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Based on IH’s most recent announcement, the hospital’s emergency room will be open for a total of five hours on Saturday before having to close again at 6 p.m.
People in the community who need life-threatening emergency care should always call 911 for transport to the nearest available and appropriate facility, IH said in its announcement Saturday.
The department has been plagued with service interruptions all fall. Martin Johansen, the town’s mayor, called the closures “unacceptable” in October.
Johansen later expressed optimism when the provincial government on Oct. 19, announced it was committing $7.5 million in permanent funding to help stabilize physician emergency-room coverage in hospitals in Merritt, Oliver and Salmon Arm.