The emergency department of the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital will be closed from Friday evening until Tuesday at 8 a.m., a notice on the hospital website says.
The notice, posted Friday, attributes the temporary shutdown to high volumes in the emergency department and to a nursing staff shortage.
“The respiratory illness in the community has kept the ER very busy in the past month, and its impact was even greater in the last few days,” the notice said.
The statement also quoted Frédéric Beauchemin, the hospital’s chief executive officer, as saying the emergency department had been kept open for the past year “because of the commitment and dedication of our nursing, medical and management teams. Unfortunately, this situation is not sustainable in the coming days given the challenges brought by the respiratory illnesses that continue to impact our community, including our staff.”
Board chairman Guy Yelle said the hospital had selected solutions having the least impact on patients and their families. “We have already reduced surgeries and endoscopies to ensure services during the Holiday Season. The closure of the Emergency Department allows for a small group of nursing staff to provide patient care and replace the employees that are unable to come to work.”
Friday’s notice says the Family Birthing Center would continue normal operations.
Patients requiring emergency care during the department closure in Hawkesbury were advised to go to call 911 to be transported to the nearest available hospital or to present themselves to one of those facilities: Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria; Cornwall Community Hospital in Cornwall; Montfort Hospital in Ottawa; The Ottawa Hospital; the Ottawa Heart Institute; Lachute Hospital; St-Jérôme Hospital; St-Eustache Hospital; Suroît Regional Hospital; Papineau Hospital; or Hospital La Cité de la Santé.