Due to gaps in physician coverage, the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre emergency department (ED) will be temporarily closed overnight on the following dates:
- Friday, September 8 from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. Saturday, September 9, and
- Saturday, September 9 from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. Sunday, September 10.
Any patients presenting to the ED during these times will be assessed by nursing staff and referred to other emergency departments in surrounding communities depending on their condition. EMS will transport patients to other facilities if necessary, including the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre (35kms away), Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre (40kms away), and Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre (56kms away).
EMS crews responding from 911 calls with patients requiring hospital care will re-route to alternative facilities as well.
Patients with non-urgent conditions will be redirected to other available care options as appropriate to their needs. These options include calling Health Link at 811 for medical information and advice, returning to the ED when it reopens if necessary, or following up with a primary care provider.
All other services at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre will continue to operate as normal during the temporary ED closures.
A new physician is expected to begin practicing in the community this fall, helping to mitigate closures related to gaps in physician coverage. Physician recruitment is a priority for AHS and we are actively working to recruit both Canadian and international medical graduates.
AHS is grateful for the support of surrounding healthcare centres and medical staff, especially those who have stepped in to help minimize this coverage gap as much as possible. We would also like to thank the community for its understanding.
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