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St. Joseph’s General Hospital dealing with construction challenges and nursing shortage

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Elliot Lake’s St. Joseph’s Hospital had to close their emergency department overnight last week due to a nursing shortage.

Hospital CEO Jeremy Stevenson says the closure wad due to a higher-than-normal demand and the challenged of navigating necessary construction.

He adds they are already operating at 120% capacity, which means creating beds and space in an already over-capacity hospital.

Stevenson says they have been able to secure additional agency nurses and are adding an extra nurse in the emergency department hoping to stave off any closure.

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He realizes this means increased wait times and asks the public to be patient while they continue to look at ways to improve those wait times, finding space for patients to be seen and recruit more nurses.

If you feel that you require testing for COVID-19, please isolate appropriately at home, following all Algoma Public Health regulations, and contact the Elliot Lake Family Health Team at 705-461-8882.

Our administration are working extremely hard to try to find ways to keep our Emergency Department open, and our existing health care staff are working extremely hard to maintain patient services throughout this shortage in health human resources.

We’d also like to remind the public that kindness means a lot. We ask that you please be kind to our front-line staff as we endeavour to retain this critical service for our community during the holiday season.

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