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Staffing shortages force emergency services closure at Merritt hospital

Emergency services won’t be available from 8 a.m. on Sunday to 8 a.m. on Monday

Emergency services at Nicola Valley Hospital in Merritt will be unavailable from 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, to 8 a.m. Monday, Aug. 22, due to limited doctor availability.

Interior Health says patients can instead access care at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops or Kelowna General Hospital.

It’s the third time in as many days IH has announced a temporary emergency closure due to “unexpected limited physician availability.”

The South Okanagan General Hospital did not offer emergency services overnight on Thursday and won’t again from 6 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday.

During this time, all other services will continue as normal at the Merritt hospital.

People who need life-threatening emergency care should call 911 for transport to the nearest available and appropriate facility, IH said in an email.

The emergency department in Merritt is usually open 24/7.

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