The Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre emergency department (ED) will be temporarily without physician coverage from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, 2023. This is due to physician illness.
As a result, the ED will close beginning at 6:30 a.m. in order for patients within the department at the time to be seen and treated. New patients presenting to the site seeking ED services after that time will receive a comprehensive assessment by nursing staff and referred to other emergency departments in surrounding communities depending on their condition.
EMS will transport patients to alternative sites if necessary.
EMS crews returning from 911 calls with patients requiring hospital care will re-route to surrounding facilities, including the Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre, Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre, and Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
Patients with non-urgent conditions will be redirected to other available care options as appropriate to their needs. These options include booking an appointment with a family doctor, calling Health Link at 811 for medical information and advice, or returning to the ED when it reopens if necessary.
This is a temporary measure due to physician illness. Such closures are taken as a last resort after options secure alternative physician coverage have been exhausted. All other services at the site continue to operate as normal.
AHS is grateful for the support of surrounding healthcare centres and medical staff and would like to thank the community for its patience and understanding.