Due to increasing pressure on staff, the emergency department at UBC Hospital in Vancouver will reduce opening hours from Tuesday.
The doors will close every evening at 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m., the health authority announced on Monday.
“Increasing patient arrival volumes, especially at the end of the day, have resulted in UBC Hospital ED staff and medical staff routinely working well beyond their scheduled shifts into the early hours to provide care to those who arrive at the hospital in the early hours of the morning. late night,” wrote Dr. Ladan Sadrehashemi, the senior medical director of acute care for Vancouver Coastal Health.
“The uncertainty of not knowing the end time of the last shift leads to burnout and loss of medical and other personnel within the emergency care team and is not sustainable.”
VCH described the move as a “temporary adjustment”, although no end date for the change in hours has been specified. Patients in need of urgent care are advised to go to other hospitals in the city.
“Work is underway to identify interim and long-term options for managing patient volumes at UBC Hospital,” the VCH statement said.
The announcement is the first of its kind in Vancouver, but smaller communities in BC have been dealing with closures and reduced hours in emergency rooms for months.
Prime Minister John Horgan has described the county’s health care system as “shaky” with ongoing staff shortages and a serious crisis in family medicine as the most pressing problems. However, he has also said that similar problems are occurring across the country and that a solution is impossible without a significant investment from the federal government.