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Contingencies in place to keep emerge open at NBRHC

While hospital emergency departments in other parts of the north and across the province have dealt with temporary closures that won’t be the case at the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC). 

“From a staffing perspective, we are struggling like the rest of the province. [In terms of] nursing and physician staff, we are short,” says Dr. Alexis Lemmex, Chief of the NBRHC Emergency Department.  “However, we are a regional centre and will not be closing and we have several contingency plans in place to make sure that our department stays operational and safe for our patients.”

Dr. Lemmex says there are a number of factors involved with the shortages. 

“Because we need to keep our patients safe, people are still off when they do have COVID for mandatory isolation periods,” she says. “That combined with the surge of patients we’re seeing in the department and there are people taking summer holidays because they haven’t taken them in two years.” 

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Dr. Lemmex says if people feel they need to go to the Emergency Department for treatment then do so, noting they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

“We pride ourselves on being a department that is the safety net for this region, so if you do feel like you need us, we are here for you and we will do our best to care for you in the most efficient way possible,” she says. 

Dr. Lemmex does have a request, though. 

“Just to be patient with us and bring stuff, if you have your phone bring a charger, bring a book because you likely will be waiting longer,” she says. “We’re trying our best, we’re working hard and just be patient, that’s all we really ask.”

There’s also concern about the fall. 

“Certainly with the seventh wave, encouraging people to get immunized and isolating when they need to isolate will keep our community safe and our hospital functional,” Dr. Lemmex says.

She says they will continue to work hard to keep staff where they need to be and fill the shifts that need to be filled. 

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