ER closures across N.L. mean last year’s problems will only get worse in 2023, health-care providers say – CBC

Multiple emergency rooms across N.L. shut down over the holidays

Jan 03, 2023

As the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve, six emergency rooms in central and eastern Newfoundland were closed due to staffing shortages.

The closures marked the culmination of a year where emergency rooms in some rural communities began closing more frequently and Newfoundland and Labrador’s health authorities relied more heavily on virtual care.

The emergency room in New-Wes-Valley has been closed since last week, and is scheduled to remain closed until at least Wednesday. Michael Tiller, who doubles as both a paramedic and the town’s mayor, said the impact has been “tremendous.”

“If you don’t have the foundation of a strong health care system, it affects your town; it affects your region,” he said.

Tiller said when the emergency room in New-Wes-Valley closes, paramedics are forced to drive drive patients an extra hour and a half to Gander — where they might take hours to offload patients because that hospital is so busy.

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