Staff shortages responsible for early closures at Smithers hospital laboratory

Early closures at the Smithers hospital laboratory in July and August were caused by short-term staff shortages.

Staff shortages are responsible for a series of early closures at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital laboratory in July and August.

The facility closed three hours early over seven days in July and August due to short-term staff shortages.

Northern Health spokesperson Jonathon Dyck said the hospital was short one full-time equivalent position in the lab.

Combined with other vacation and personal leave, he said the hospital was unable to cover the laboratory’s scheduled hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused some people seeking routine blood work and want to reassure the public the lab is still available for service,” said Dyck.

“The lab is currently experiencing short-term staffing shortages due to vacations and personal leaves.

“We want to ensure our staff receive appropriate time off, whether planned vacation or potential unexpected personal leaves, as otherwise it can lead to recruitment and retention challenges.”

He said no early closures were planned in the future.

“If a situation does arise, we will share potential early closures with a notice at the hospital and to other medical professionals,” said Dyck.

“If members of the public have questions about the hours of operation, they are encouraged to call the laboratory for more information.”

The laboratory can be contacted at 250-847-6213.





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