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Doctor shortage hits ER at Vanderhoof hospital

Those facing life-threatening health emergency will need to call 911

The emergency room at St. John Hospital in Vanderhoof will be closed over Thursday night, "due to an unavoidable gap in physician coverage," Northern Health says.

The closure starts at 8 p.m. and lasts until 8 a.m. tomorrow, Northern Health said in a statement issued this afternoon.

Anyone who needs life-threatening emergency care (chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding) will have to call 911 for transport to the nearest available and appropriate facility, Northern Health said.

For non-urgent care needs, patients can also call the NH Virtual Clinic at 1-844-645-7811 (daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) to access a family doctor or nurse practitioner: Northern BC residents can also now book an appointment to see a pharmacist for 21 minor ailments and prescription contraceptives.

Patients who aren’t sure whether their condition would warrant an emergency room visit, or who need health advice can call HealthLink BC (8-1-1), or visit for non-emergency health information from nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

Emergency services at St. John Hospital are expected to resume at 8 a.m. Friday.