FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Health says they are dealing with staffing issues at the Fort St. John Hospital ICU.

The Fort St. John Hospital has four intensive care unit beds, and Eryn Collins with Northern Health says they have had staffing challenges.  In the Northern Health region, there are 41 critical care beds with 24 in use as of November 30.

Collins wouldn’t say if the staffing challenges have caused the hospital to close any of the four beds but says the hospital can still provide ICU level care to any patients in the community. 

For COVID-19, if a patient in Fort St. John needs a ventilator, they are sent to Prince George or other hospitals in B.C. to help with any current staff shortages. Collins says that this has been a part of a plan and provincial system, which means that patients could be moved to other health regions if need be, which is something that was previously written about on December 2 after an article was published in the Times Colonist.

As of November 30, only one of the beds was being used at the Fort St. John Hospital, but Collins says that number changes on an almost daily basis.

Collins also said Northern Health is continually recruiting staff and that staff coverage in the ICU changes each day.