April will see some relief for Fort St. James residents needing emergency care this month.
Locum physicians have been found to accommodate the opening of the emergency room (ER) for five days before the end of April.
The ER will now be open April 19, April 21-22, and April 24-25. The rest of the hospital will remain open, operating as it has been, with lab and x-ray facilities.
The rest of the days of the month of April, besides the ones listed above, the emergency room will be closed and patients requiring emergency care will have to be transported to Vanderhoof or Prince George.
Patients transported by ambulance need to arrange for their own ride back to Fort St. James, as transportation for the return trip is not provided.
Emergency rooms are operated for people experiencing sudden or unusual changes to their health, including severe pain or bleeding, breathing difficulties, chest pain or eye injuries.
Anyone unsure about whether or not to seek emergency treatment, call HealthLink BC at 811 or go to www.Healthlinkbc.ca.
Northern Health continues to work with community leaders and Dr. Stent on long-term solutions for the community and are currently working to develop a model for a Northern Health and non-profit society jointly run medical clinic facility.
After two physicians left at the end of February, the Stuart Lake Hospital has been experiencing limited emergency room services, with Dr. Stent the sole physician in the community operating the medical clinic.
The emergency room for the community was only open for two weekends in March.