Ongoing resource challenges have led Southern Health-Sante Sud to temporarily reduce the Emergency Department's hours of operation at Morris General Hospital.
Effective Monday, May 15th the ER will be open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
In an email notification, Southern Health-Sante Sud says these changes are necessary to ensure this facility can continue to provide the best level of care possible.
"We acknowledge the inconvenience this has on the community and endeavour to continue all efforts to reinstate a 24/7 Emergency Department. Increasing and preserving our current medical staff resources remains a top priority," added the statement.
Outpatient services such as lab work, minor procedures including IV treatments, and wound care currently provided through the Emergency Department will continue to be scheduled as required.
Those experiencing a medical emergency are to continue calling 9-1-1.
Emergency Response Services and Inter-facility transfer services will continue to be available. Patients with higher acuity needs will be temporarily directed to the appropriate setting for the care they need.
According to Southern Health-Sante Sude, the reduced hours will not affect hospital in-patient services or resident care in personal care homes.
Access to primary care services will continue but will be challenged in light of the medical staff shortages. Patients are encouraged to continue accessing primary health care wherever possible. All general, less serious health care needs can be addressed by calling Health Links–Info Santé at 1-888-315-9257.
Southern Health-Sante Sud added the recruitment of clinical staff is a constant challenge in rural communities throughout the province and the country, and Morris is no exception. "We are experiencing unprecedented physician resource challenges across our region," noted the email statement.
As well, it noted this temporary service change will allow Southern Health-Sante Sud to maintain core services while working with limited physician options until it can stabilize the workforce in order to provide high quality, predictable, and sustainable health care services that meet the needs of the community of Morris and surrounding area, now and into the future.
Site leaders and the health region will continue to work in collaboration with the community, physicians and staff, to help achieve that goal.