NH advises Tumbler Ridge residents of after-hours emergency service changes

Northern Health is changing the way emergency services are accessed at Tumbler Ridge Community Health Centre to help ease the burden on nursing resources after-hours. These changes are the result of a reduced number of nurses available to cover after-hours emergency services.

The Tumbler Ridge Community Health Centre provides emergency services Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 8:30pm. After-hours and on weekends, emergency medical care is available on an on-call basis. Currently, Tumbler Ridge residents are able to call or visit the health centre after hours to be met by the on-call nurse.

Effective July 6th and until further notice, on-call health staff in Tumbler Ridge will provide 9-1-1 response only. Tumbler Ridge residents with emergency health care needs outside regular operating hours should call 9-1-1, to have the appropriate staff respond to the health centre. After-hours calls of a non-emergency nature will be re-directed to the 8-1-1 HealthLink BC service for 24/7 health advice from a registered nurse.

?Northern Health has worked with physicians and staff to focus on providing the best level of emergency service we can, within our current resources.? said Betty Morris, Northern Health?s chief operating officer for the Northeast Health Service Delivery Area. ?Routing emergency calls through 9-1-1 will help take the strain off those resources after-hours, while ensuring the emergency health needs of Tumbler Ridge residents continue to be met.?

Sudden and/or unusual changes in health that could constitute an emergency include, but aren?t limited to:

breathing difficulties

chest pain

Loss of consciousness

Sudden changes in speech/vision

Sudden weakness/dizziness

severe bleeding or pain

broken bones

eye injuries·

Regularly scheduled emergency services will continue to be available Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30am to 8:30pm. Patients requiring care that is not an emergency should book an appointment with a family doctor during regular hours.

For more information and Northern Health Services visit them online at www.northernhealth.ca