Due to an unexpected gap in physician coverage, the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre emergency department (ED) is temporarily without physician coverage until 5 p.m. today.  

Patients requiring emergency medical care during this time are asked to call 911. EMS calls will be re-routed to surrounding facilities, including the Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre, Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre and Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.  

Patients presenting to the ED will be seen by staff and referred to emergency departments in surrounding communities as needed, or to the local medical clinic for follow up with a family physician depending on their needs.   

This is a temporary measure taken as a last resort. All efforts to secure alternative coverage on short notice have been exhausted.