Pincher Creek ER temporarily closed on long weekend
The Friday afternoon of the Canada Day long weekend is not when anyone wants to hear of an emergency room closure that would impact both local residents and visitors to the community.
Alberta Health Services issued a notice around 2:30 stating that the emergency department of the Pincher Creek Health Centre would close at 8 a.m. Saturday and not be accessible until Monday at 8 a.m.
Residents were advised that the health centres in Crowsnest Pass, Fort Macleod and Cardston, along with Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge, would accept patients from the area, and to call 911 in the case of an emergency.
Pincher Creek Emergency Services was charged with responding as usual and facilitating transfers to neighbouring sites as necessary.
“These closures only happen after exhausting all other options,” AHS said in a written statement Tuesday. “Alberta Health Services (AHS) is committed to maintaining ongoing access to health care in Pincher Creek, including the Emergency Department (ED), and are doing all we can to ensure patients receive the care they need when they need it.”
Specific questions regarding the number of patients turned away at the door or sent to other locations did not receive a response.
Nor did the more pressing question: is this a sign of things to come?