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Airdrie Urgent Care Centre to temporarily close overnight this weekend due to physician shortage

Airdrie's 24-7 medical care facility won't be 24-7 this weekend, due to a shortage of available physicians.
Airdrie's urgent care centre will experience temporary closures this weekend as the result of physician shortages.

A gap in physician coverage will result in the temporary overnight closures of the Airdrie Urgent Care Centre this weekend.

According to a press release from Alberta Health Services (AHS), the Main Street medical care facility will be temporarily closed from 10 p.m. tonight (Friday, July 8), until 7 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday, July 9) and again at 10 p.m. July 9 until 7 a.m. Sunday, July 10, due to a gap in physician coverage

"New patients will not be admitted after 8 p.m. and those remaining in the department at that time will be treated and discharged according to their needs," stated AHS' July 8 press release. "Nursing staff will remain in the [urgent care centre] overnight to assess and triage any walk-in patients who present during the temporary closures." 

During the closure, patients will be referred to emergency departments in surrounding communities, such as Calgary or Didsbury. AHS stated those with less urgent needs may be referred to local medical clinics for walk-in appointments on Monday morning. 

This closure is a temporary measure taken as a last resort, AHS stated. An employee with AHS' communications replied to an Airdrie City View inquiry that the reason for the gap in physicians was the result of staff illness.

"Despite exhaustive efforts, we've been unable to replace this position shift," the employee said.

"Alberta Health Services (AHS) is working hard to ensure local residents continue to have access to the care they need during this time, and to keep all other services at the site operating as normal," the release stated

Other services at the site are not impacted by this gap in physician coverage. and Airdrie's urgent care centre will resume 24-hour operations as of 7 a.m. on July 10. 

Patients requiring emergency medical care during the temporary overnight closures are asked to call 911. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will be re-routed to surrounding facilities, including Peter Lougheed Centre in northeast Calgary, the Didsbury District Health Centre, the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary and Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Residents are reminded to call Health Link at 811, which is available 24/7, for non-emergency, health-related questions. 

"AHS would like to thank the community for its patience and understanding during this time," the release stated. "AHS is also thankful for the support of surrounding healthcare centres and medical staff to help ensure those who need care continue to have access to it, even if it requires receiving that care in a neighbouring community." 

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