The emergency department at Montfort Hospital will be closed overnight this weekend as the hospital deals with an “unprecedented shortage” of nurses.
The hospital in Ottawa’s east end says it has made the “difficult decision” to “temporarily partially close” its emergency room Saturday and Sunday between 19.30 and 07.30.
The temporary emergency room closure will remain in effect until Monday at 7:30 a.m
“Ontario is experiencing ongoing pressure on emergency department staffing levels due to COVID-related absenteeism, vacations, staff fatigue and burnout,” Montfort Hospital said in a statement Friday afternoon.
“Staffing pressures, including in the ED, are being felt by hospitals across the country. These pressures have been keenly felt over the last few weeks and due to the unprecedented shortage of nurses in Montfort at the moment, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily partially close our emergency department.”
Montfort Hospital says the rest of the hospital will be “business as usual.” Montfort Hospital said early Friday evening that the emergency room will remain open only to ambulances transporting only high-acuity patients.
Montfort Hospital is the latest hospital in Eastern Ontario to temporarily close its emergency department due to staff shortages. The emergency room at the hospital in Perth, Ont. was closed for three weeks in July, while Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria closed its emergency department overnight for two weeks before partially resuming 24-hour service this week.
“The decision to close the emergency room, even for a few hours, is not an easy one to make,” Montfort Hospital said. “But we need to do it to ensure our team is able to offer excellent, safe and compassionate care when the emergency reopens.”
Emergency departments at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, Ottawa Hospital General Campus and Queensway-Carleton Hospital will remain open this weekend.