Chain reaction: How 2 vacant doctor jobs closed Whitbourne’s ER and put pressure on paramedics – CBC

Red alerts, unpredictability and long transport times plague paramedics

Nov 22, 2022

You won’t find many ambulances parked outside the Dr. William H. Newhook Health Centre in Whitbourne these days.

Two vacant physician positions at the facility have caused a chain reaction in the health-care system that has forced the emergency room to remain closed for almost five months and making a tough job even harder for paramedics with the nearby Smith’s Ambulance Service.

The first temporary closure of the ER, for a week, was June 27. But week after week, Eastern Health has issued press releases extending the temporary closure, which remains in effect until at least 8 a.m. on Monday.

Wade Smith, who owns the private ambulance service, said the closure has had a big impact on the region.

“Red alerts and no coverage for four to six hours, nearest ambulances is probably 35 to 40 minutes away,” Smith said.

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