One third fewer acute care beds will be temporarily closed during the holiday season at Island hospitals than in previous years, says Dr. Richard Wedge, Interim CEO of Health PEI.
“Due to the efforts of staff and physicians to improve our staffing levels and to make the best possible use of our acute care beds, we are able to keep more beds open this year going into the holiday season compared to prior years,” said Dr. Wedge.
“Hopefully this will ensure that staff are able to take their planned holiday time and that our patients will not remain waiting in our emergency departments for extended periods of time due to a lack of available beds.”
Health systems across Canada generally close acute care beds during the holiday season due to reduced demand for elective procedures and to provide staff and physicians the opportunity to take much-deserved time off. The number of beds kept open is determined by the demand for these beds and the availability of staff to safely operate the required beds.
Temporary acute care bed closures will take place during the holiday period as follows:
- Queen Elizabeth Hospital - closing 35 beds from Dece. 14 to Jan. 2.
- Prince County Hospital - closing 12 beds from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2.
- Western Hospital - closing 5 beds from Dec. 20 to Jan. 4.
- Elective surgical services will be postponed at the Queen Elizabeth and Prince County Hospitals during their respective bed closure periods.
- No bed closures are planned for Souris Hospital, Kings County Memorial Hospital, Stewart Memorial Hospital and Community Hospital O’Leary.
Emergency departments will remain fully operational. In urgent medical situations, Islanders should continue to seek services at the nearest hospital emergency department or call 9-1-1.
Persons requiring non-urgent care are encouraged to seek services at their family physician’s office or a walk-in clinic. There are many walk-in clinics located across Prince Edward Island that provide non-urgent medical care; for a full list, visit www.healthpei.ca/walkinclinics.
Islanders are reminded to bring their provincial health card and their current list of medications when going to hospital. For more information, please visit www.healthpei.ca.