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How can Emergency Services be suspended?

posted Aug 17, 2015, 9:58 AM by Kathy Carr

by Kathy Carr

In an emergency, you want to know that if you have to go to the hospital, the emergency department is open and ready to take care of things, but for the residents of Carberry/North Cypress-Langford and Glenboro-South Cypress, that was not the case. The residents received notices in their mailboxes stating that there would be no emergency services at either Carberry or Glenboro Health Centres from Friday, July 31, 4:00 p.m. to Tuesday, August 4, 8:00 a.m. 
The flyer did say that individuals requiring emergency department services were encouraged to call either the Carberry or Glenboro Health Centres to determine the nearest open emergency department. For the people in Glenboro-South Cypress that meant possibly travelling to either Baldur, Treherne or Wawanesa (if the emergency department was open) and for the
people of Carberry/North Cypress-Langford that meant heading to either Neepawa or Brandon. 
So how is this possible? How can two towns/municipalities be left without an emergency department over a long weekend?
According to Penny Gilson, CEO for Prairie Mountain Health, "It was due to personal circumstances that arose for the physician that was supposed to work in Glenboro that weekend and no physicians were available in Carberry, so we made the decision to suspend emergency department services for both locations."
In a post on social media, the Town of Carberry and RM of North Cypress-Langford shared their surprise and dismay over the situation and requested a face to face meeting with Prairie Mountain Health immediately to discuss the situation and the effect that it had on the community and surrounding area. 
Well, Prairie Mountain Health listened and the meeting has been arranged and will be happening on Tuesday, August 25. 
The Councils want to make sure at this meeting that their concerns about this particular situation are heard. Mayor Stuart Olmstead said "We really want to focus in on why it was closed and how can we prevent it from happening again."
But could this situation happen again? With many facilities being short staffed that could very well be a possibility, but Gilson said that Prairie Mountain Health are doing all they can to recruit doctors and nurses for the area and hopefully prevent a situation like this from happening again.