Unless you are seriously ill or injured, do not go to the ER begs Horizon

These two hospitals face a severe shortage of staff until Sunday.

Horizon Network Interim President and CEO Margaret Melanson is firm. People whose situation does not require urgent care must turn to services other than the emergency rooms of these two hospitals.

Horizon Health Network Interim President and CEO Margaret Melanson.

Photo: Radio Canada

We have explored different solutions to find staff in our establishments this weekend, but our shortage of staff at the Moncton and Saint-Jean hospitals is significant.asks Ms. Melanson.

This is necessary, she adds, to ensure that the staff in place can offer safe care to patients who are in a critical situation.

These are extreme and exceptional circumstances and it is not a request that we make lightly. »

A quote from Margaret Melanson, Interim President and CEO of the Horizon Network

The emergency physician at the Moncton Hospital, Dr. Serge Melanson says he has never seen such a serious situation.

More than half of the nursing staff missing

Even before the pandemic, there’s no way I would have imagined a situation like thishe said.

If the shortage of personnel has been constant this summer, the situation is worse at the end of the week according to Dr. Melanson. Usually ten nurses are provided for the emergency department of The Moncton Hospital. There were only one or two on the schedule for the weekend. After approaches with nurses who volunteered to work on weekends, the situation has improved somewhat, but is not optimal, says the emergency doctor.

Dr Serge Melanson.

Dr. Serge Melanson is an emergency physician at The Moncton Hospital. He has never seen such a difficult situation with regard to the shortage of personnel.

Photo: Courtesy/NB Medical Society

It’s still a place where there are 40 beds to monitor, so that’s a lot of patients. It’s a really difficult situation.

In Saint-Jean, it is indicated that half of the dozen nurses needed will be at work.

The ceo points out that a combination of nurses on vacation or who are sick explains the situation.

She hopes that the end of the summer period and the network’s recruitment efforts will allow the situation to resolve quickly.

The Vitalité health network has indicated that it is ready to collaborate with the Horizon network at the end of the week. Brigitte Sonier Ferguson, vice-president of university mission, performance and quality at the Vitalité network, ensures that patients who need urgent care will receive it.

The ceo d’Horizon adds that if Vitalité employees accept, they can work in an establishment in its network, but that this work cannot be imposed because of collective agreements.

The Dieppe country festival worries

Dr. Melanson worries about the impact of the YQM mega show in Dieppe. This event should welcome 20,000 spectators from here and elsewhere.


The YQM country festival is preparing to welcome 20,000 people this weekend in Dieppe.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Nicolas Steinbach

We hope it will go well, but we can never predict what will happen with big events like thishe says

He fears that the increase in the number of people in the area will put pressure on health services.

As for the organizers, promoter Sam Bouregois ensures that medical teams will be on site to ensure the safety of festival-goers. He indicates that doctors and nurses are on site and that a tent dedicated to medical care has been set up.

The municipality also indicates that a command center has been installed at the Uniplex, adjacent to the site. Firefighters, RCMP officers and security guards are nearby and the emergency measures departments of Moncton and Dieppe are involved in the smooth running of the festival.

other resources

Dr. Melanson would still not want people to try to self-diagnose and recalls that resources exist to determine when to turn to the emergency room.

He mentions the Tele-care service (811). In more serious cases, 911 can be reached and paramedics are able to assess a patient’s condition and decide if they need to be transported to the emergency room or if other care and services are possible.

Still, if you experience symptoms or sudden pain, for example in the stomach or chest, weakness in the arms or legs, it is important to seek medical care, reminds the emergency doctor.

[Dans ce genre de situation]people will be seen and cared forhe assures.

People who will need non-urgent care can visit SoWhyWait.ca (New window) to consider other health care solutions, visit evisitnb.ca (New window) to learn more about virtual care services or to visit a Horizon community hospital emergency department:

  • Sackville Memorial Hospital (40-minute drive from LHM), open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.;

  • Sussex Health Center (50 mins drive from LHM and HRSJ), open 24/7;

  • St. Joseph’s Hospital Urgent Care Center (a 10-minute drive from the HRSJ), open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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