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Critical shortage of ER doctors in North Bay

The North Bay Regional Health Centre said Friday that a critical shortage of emergency room doctors means longer wait times for less urgent cases.

As a result, the hospital has issued an emergency department critical physician staffing notice.

“The health centre is experiencing a critical shortage of … physicians and currently our physician compliment is approximately half what would be required for normal operations of the department,” officials said in a news release Friday.

“Hospitals across the province are facing similar … physician shortages. Patients seeking non-urgent care can expect to experience excessively long wait times.”

Patients who arrive at the emergency department with the most urgent needs will seen first.

“Patients who come in with an issue that is not urgent will be triaged accordingly,” officials said.

“We know that waiting when feeling unwell can be stressful and frustrating. We ask our community to respect that our team is under incredible stress, and have been experiencing high levels of verbal abuse, which cannot be tolerated. Help us create a safe environment for our team as they provide care.”

Options to access care other than going to the hospital include walk-in clinics, family doctors, virtual walk-in clinics, Health Connect Ontario (available 24/7 at 811) and the mental health crisis line at 1-800-352-1141.

Pharmacists in Ontario can now assess for 13 minor illnesses or conditions (urinary tract infection, cold sore, pink eye, tick bites, skin rashes), the hospital said. 

This comes following an announcement in July that emergency department delays in North Bay could extend beyond the summer months. Top Stories

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