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Surgery, birthing units to close at Pontiac Hospital this weekend

The Pontiac Hospital in Shawville, Que., will close two units this weekend due to the unexpected absence of a surgeon, the region's health authority announced Friday.

Outaouais health authority blames closures on surgeon's unexpected absence

The Pontiac Hospital in Shawville, Que., has faced repeated closures of its obstetrics unit. (Radio-Canada)

The Pontiac Hospital in Shawville, Que., will close two units this weekend due to the unexpected absence of a surgeon, the region's health authority announced Friday.

The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais (CISSSO) said the hospital's general surgery and obstetrics units will close at 4 p.m. Friday and remain closed until 8 a.m. Monday.

The obstetrics unit is closing because there's no surgeon available to perform emergency caesarean sections, CISSSO said.

It's the sixth time this fall that the hospital will close its birthing unit. Previous closures were blamed on a shortage of nurses.

This weekend, trauma cases will be referred to the nearest trauma centre and women in labour will be sent to Gatineau if their health allows. If not, there will be "qualified staff" there to care for them, CISSSO said.

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