Ottawa's Montfort Hospital temporarily closing emergency department overnights this weekend
The emergency department at the Montfort Hospital will be closed overnights this weekend as the hospital deals with an "unprecedented shortage" of nurses.
The hospital in Ottawa's east end says it has made the "difficult decision" to "temporarily partially close" its emergency department on Saturday and Sunday between 7:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.
The temporary closure of the emergency department will remain in effect until Monday at 7:30 a.m.
"Ontario is experiencing a sustained pressure on emergency department staffing levels due to COVID-related absences, vacations, staff fatigue and burnout," the Montfort Hospital said in a statement Friday afternoon.
"Staffing pressures, including in the ED, are being felt by hospitals across the country. These pressures were strongly felt over the course of the past few weeks and due to the unprecedented shortage of nurses at Montfort currently, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily partially close our Emergency Department."
The Montfort Hospital says the rest of the hospital will be "business as usual." The Montfort Hospital said early Friday evening the ER will remain open for ambulances transporting high acuity patients only.
The Montfort Hospital is the latest hospital in eastern Ontario to temporarily close its emergency department due to a staffing shortage. The emergency room at the hospital in Perth, Ont. was closed for three weeks in July, while the Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria closed its emergency department overnights for two weeks before partial resuming 24-hour service this week.
"The decision to close the Emergency, even for a few hours, is not easy to make," the Montfort Hospital said. "But we have to do it, to ensure our team is able to offer excellent, safe and compassionate care when the Emergency reopens."
The emergency departments at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, the Ottawa Hospital General Campus and the Queensway-Carleton Hospital remain open this weekend.