Physician shortage temporary closes Oliver hospital emergency. (File photo)

South Okanagan emergency department closes 4 days in a row

South Okanagan General Hospital emergency has struggled to staff doctors for months

South Okanagan General hospital’s emergency department is closing for the fourth day in a row due to limited doctor availability.

Oliver and area residents have been without emergency services from Saturday through to Tuesday.

Emergency services will be unavailable from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Patients can access emergency care at the Penticton Regional Hospital.

During the Labour Day weekend, the emergency was closed twice overnight.

Recently, Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen called the closures ‘unacceptable’ and a sign of failing system. He predicted these closures will continue well into October as the area hospital doctor shortage shows no signs of changing.

“This is reaching a level that is showing that the system is in definite trouble,” said Johansen.

READ MORE: ‘A system in trouble’: Oliver emergency closes twice during Labour Day weekend

People experiencing life-threatening symptoms, including chest pain, difficulty breathing and severe bleeding, should call 911 to arrange transport to the nearest available emergency facility.

Interior Health’s notice states the emergency department in Oliver is usually open 24/7.

Call HealthLink BC at 811 or visit to find out if an emergency room visit is warranted.

Read more: Penticton opens 116-space childcare centre, announces new 80-space partnership


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