New Brunswick

Vitalité diverting ambulances to alternative hospital in Moncton over nurse shortage

Ambulances will be diverted from the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, to the Moncton Hospital from Saturday to Monday because of a nurse shortage.

Ambulances to be diverted away from Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital from Saturday to Monday

Due to a nurse shortage at the Dr. Georges L Dumont University Hospital Centre, ambulances are being diverted to the Moncton Hospital from Saturday to Monday. (CBC)

A nurse shortage at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton is resulting in ambulances having to be diverted to another hospital this weekend.

Instead of going to the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital, ambulances will be sent to the Moncton Hospital beginning on Saturday at 8 a.m., until Monday at 8 a.m., said Vitalité Health Network, in a news release Friday afternoon.

Both emergency departments will remain open for walk-in patients.

"The shortage of nurses has hit us hard and the emergency department at the Dumont is especially affected," said Vitalité president and CEO Dr. France Desrosiers, in the news release.

"We now have no other choice but to apply this unpopular, but necessary, decision for the safety of patients and
staff."

The news release does not say whether the move is related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ambulances set for the Dr. Georges L Dumont University Hospital Centre will be diverted to the Moncton Hospital instead from Saturday to Monday. (CBC)

Karen McGrath, president and CEO of Horizon Health Network, in the release, said Horizon is itself "struggling to deal with staff shortages," but that it will continue to support Vitalité.

"We want to ensure the public that if they do have a medical emergency we will provide them safe and quality care," she said.

The release by Vitalité says it's "urging the public in the Moncton area to think about their options for receiving care – please keep the Emergency Departments for emergencies."

At the same time, it advises anyone having a medical emergency to call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency department. It says patients with non-urgent medical issues may experience long wait times if they present to the emergency departments "as we prioritize the sickest and most vulnerable patients."

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