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Need emergency care? You might have to be treated 450 km away, BC Interior residents told

Another day, another hospital in the BC Interior failing to provide emergency care.

This time, the emergency department at Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake has been closed.

Interior Health said the closure, from 11:30 pm on Tuesday till 7:30 am on Wednesday, has been caused by a lack of nurses.

The health authority said anyone in need of emergency care should find a way to travel to 100 Mile House (93 kilometres from Cariboo Memorial Hospital), Quesnel (120 kilometres from the hospital) or Bella Coola (450 kilometres from the hospital).

All other inpatient services will continue to be provided in Williams Lake, Interior Health added.

“People in the community who need life-threatening emergency care (i.e., chest pains, difficulty breathing, severe bleeding) should always call 9-1-1 for transport to the nearest available and appropriate facility,” Interior Health’s notice reads.

Temporary closures at BC Interior hospitals have become a common occurrence in recent months.

In recent weeks, the crisis appears to have intensified.


Editor's note: This story has been modified to emphasize that the distances listed are based on Cariboo Memorial Hospital being the starting point.



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