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Hospital in Fort Saskatchewan closes obstetrics unit due to lack of physicians

Another Alberta hospital has announced a closure due to a lack of physician coverage.
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Police officers photograph protesters as they gather at Alberta Health Services' Foothills Hospital to oppose COVID-19 related public health measures in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

FORT SASKATCHEWAN, Alta. — Another Alberta hospital has announced a closure due to a lack of physician coverage.

Alberta Health Services says the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital will temporarily close its obstetrics unit starting Saturday for at least two weeks.

The agency says pregnant patients who planned on delivering at the hospital will need to adjust their birth plans to instead deliver at the Sturgeon Community Hospital, which is about a half-hour drive away.

AHS says the emergency department in Fort Saskatchewan remains open.

At least two other health facilities — the urgent care units at South Calgary Health Centre and Airdrie Community Health Centre — have some temporary nighttime closures in place to deal witha shortage of doctors or nurses.

An emergency directive calling for some patients in Edmonton hospitals to be treated in hallways was lifted Thursday after Alberta Health Services was able to place some patients in other facilities.

Similar staffing shortages have been seen in other provinces, with Ontario temporarily closing some of its emergency departments and Quebec workers being asked to report to work with serious COVID-19 symptoms in order to avoid critical gaps in care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press