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Lack of doctors closes Oliver hospital emergency

South Okanagan General Hospital emergency closed noon to 6 p.m. July 17
Physician shortage temporary closes Oliver hospital emergency. (File photo)

The South Okanagan General Hospital emergency department is temporary closed today, July 17, due to limited physician availability.

The Oliver-based emergency department will be closed from noon to 6 p.m.

The emergency is normally open 24/7.

Hospitals across Interior Health have been facing temporary closures due to staffing shortages. Interior Health announced on Friday that emergency departments at both the Ashcroft and Clearwater hospitals would be closed over the weekend due to lack of doctors.

Interior Health said it regrets this temporary change to normal operations at South Okanagan General. Residents should call 911 if they require care while the emergency department is closed.

The nearest hospital available is Penticton Regional Hospital at 550 Carmi Ave.

Over the years, South Okanagan General Hospital emergency has been closed due to doctor shortages. Currently, the towns of Oliver and Osoyoos are in discussions with the province to deal with doctor shortages in South Okanagan.

In 2019, the town of Oliver council went back and forth with Interior Health to try and stop the temporary closures of the hospital’s emergency department.

READ MORE: South Okanagan town wants answers to emergency room staffing issues

READ ALSO: Interior Health making ‘temporary’ changes due to COVID-19 staffing challenges

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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