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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Staff shortages at the Fort St. John Hospital continue to lead to “intermittent disruptions” to service.

Northern Health said the staffing challenges have caused or could cause disruptions in almost every area of the hospital, including the birthing centre.

Northern Health is urging residents to use the emergency room appropriately, especially during staffing issues.

A representative of Northern Health said that the emergency room is ideally for residents who have experienced a sudden or significant change in their health.

“People in the community who need life-threatening care (i.e. chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding) should always call 9-1-1 for transport to the nearest available and appropriate facility.”

For non-urgent care, Northern Health says that residents can always call BC HealthLink at 8-1-1.

“Patients can also call the NH Virtual Clinic at 1-844-645-7811 to access a family doctor or nurse practitioner. In addition, for non-urgent care, people can use community health services, including making an appointment with your family practitioner.”

Northern Health thanks the public for its understanding and urges residents to remain patient with healthcare staff.

“We would also like to recognize the staff and physicians who go above and beyond to continue to provide quality healthcare services in Fort St. John and ask the community for their support of these committed professionals.”

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Katherine Caddel is a recent graduate of Laurentian University's English Media and Rhetoric program. They grew up in Northern Ontario and recently decided to make the North Peace their new home. When not at work, Katherine enjoys horror movies, playing video games and Dungeons and Dragons.