SOGH emergency to close this weekend

SOGH emergency to close this weekend

(File photo)

A lack of doctor availability has resulted in an eight-hour closure of emergency department at the South Okanagan General Hospital (SOGH) this weekend.

Residents are advised that due to limited physician availability at SOGH, the emergency department will be closed from 10 p.m. on Sunday, August 19 to 6 a.m. on Monday, August 20.

“Interior Health regrets this interruption to our normal emergency department services,” Interior Health said in a news release.

This isn’t the first time SOGH’s emergency department has closed due to a lack of physicians. In 2017, the department closed from June 4-5 as well as on August 13 for 17 hours.

When Interior Health president Chris Mazurkewich visited SOGH in February, he said that more doctors moving to Oliver has prevented closures from reoccurring.

“Four or five physicians came to the community and we’ve seen the emergency room open on a regular basis.”

He also said that Interior Health is currently working with local physicians and the ministry of health on developing a new pay structure that will “make it easier to retain and attract physicians to work in the emergency room.”

Residents should take note of the following if they require care when the emergency department is closed:

  • In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Visit the emergency department at Penticton Regional Hospital (550 Carmi Avenue).
  • Call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 (24 hour service) if you are unsure about your need to go to the emergency department.