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Pontiac Hospital to suspend surgery and birthing services temporarily

The unexpected absence of a surgeon is causing a temporary shutdown of both general surgery service and the birthing unit at the Pontiac Hospital in Shawville, Que.

Unexpected absence of surgeon to blame for latest closure at chronically understaffed hospital

The Pontiac Hospital in Shawville, Que., will close for the 11th time since September 2019 on Thursday morning, this time due to a surgeon's unexpected absence. (Christian Milette/Radio-Canada)

The unexpected absence of a surgeon is causing a temporary shutdown of both general surgery service and the birthing unit at the Pontiac Hospital in Shawville, Que.

The break in service will last from Jan. 9 at 8 a.m. to Jan. 13 at 8 a.m., the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais (CISSSO) said in a French-language media release.

All trauma cases during that time will be referred to other trauma centres nearby in Gatineau and Hull.

Pregnant women in labour will be redirected to the Gatineau Hospital to give birth.

In cases of urgent deliveries, qualified personnel will still be present at the Pontiac Hospital to offer assistance, the health authority said.

The closing of the obstetrics unit marks the 11th shutdown since September 2019. It closed most recently over the holidays from Dec. 13, 2019, until this Monday due to ongoing staffing issues.

 

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