Emergency department closures stressful for staff and public, says Opposition

There have been too many closures of the emergency department at Kings County Memorial Hospital in the last month, says P.E.I.'s Opposition health critic.

Department closed 5 times in a little more than a month

The emergency department in Montague has been shut down several times in the last month. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

There have been too many closures of the emergency department at Kings County Memorial Hospital in the last month, says P.E.I.'s Opposition health critic.

In a news release, Sidney MacEwen said he is concerned about the pressure these closures are placing on patients and front line health care staff.

"Unexpected closures to an emergency room can create stress on our existing frontline health workers who feel pressure to try maintain services with reduced staffing," said MacEwen.

"It can also create anxiety for patients whose nearest option for treatment would be Charlottetown, especially during the winter months."

The most recent announced closures are all day Friday and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday. From Dec. 12 through Monday there have been five closures, all caused by lack of a doctor.

The Opposition noted the problem is exacerbated by the lack of evening walk-in clinics anywhere east of Stratford.

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