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December 16, 2009
For immediate release

Hospital Slowdown Service During Christmas


The Department of Health has planned some temporary bed closures in hospitals across the Island as part of an annual slowdown during the holiday season.

“It is important that we ensure our dedicated staff have the chance to enjoy a well-deserved break during the holiday season,” said Doug Currie, Minister of Health. “As in previous years, the planned bed closures will provide them this opportunity while ensuring minimal interruption of service to Islanders.”

A number of hospitals will be closing some acute care beds across various units within their respective facilities. Emergency services, including emergency surgical services, and day surgeries will remain fully operational during the holiday season. Elective surgical services will be reduced for a two-week period at both Prince County and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals.

Temporary acute care bed closures will take place during the holiday season as follows:

• Queen Elizabeth Hospital – closing 30 to 35 beds across various units from December 18 - January 4.

• Prince County Hospital – closing 13 beds from December 18 - January 4.

• Kings County Memorial Hospital – closing 10 beds from December 20 - January 4.

• Western Hospital – closing 7 beds from December 18 - January 4.

• Souris Hospital – closing 5 beds from December 23 - January 3.

• Stewart Memorial Hospital – no bed closures planned.

• Community Hospital O’Leary – no bed closures planned.

Keith Dewar, Deputy Minister of Health, also noted that operating facilities with a reduced number of beds during the holiday season does place some increased responsibilities on physicians, nurses and staff; however, emergency departments will be staffed appropriately ensuring that hospitals continue the provision of safe, high quality care to patients and their families. “We appreciate the efforts and support of all staff who work diligently to provide services to Islanders and visitors during the holiday season,” added Dewar.

Persons requiring non-urgent care are encouraged to seek services at a physician’s office or a walk-in clinic. Emergency Departments will remain fully operational and the public should continue to seek services especially in critical, emergency situations.

The Department of Health thanks Islanders for their patience and understanding during this time and wishes everyone a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.

Media Contact: Amanda Hamel
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