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The entrance area at Hawkesbury and District General Hospital. Photo: James Morgan

Nurse shortage the reason for temporary service reductions at HGH

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) employees is not the reason for temporary reductions of certain services at the facility says a spokesperson for the hospital. 

On November 1, the HGH announced that Perioperative Services (operating rooms) and the Family Birthing Centre would be operating at 50 per cent capacity. Other inpatient care and outpatient services will continue to operate at planned service levels.  

According to HGH Community Relations Coordinator Édith Jean-Louis, as of November 8, 100 per cent of HGH physicians and 96 per cent of other hospital staff were vaccinated against COVID-19. The shortage of nurses at the hospital is an extension of a present worldwide situation.

Issues such as retirements, fatigue, burnout, and nurses leaving hospital staff to work on pandemic-related measures are the reasons for the shortage. Jean-Louis stated that 18 HGH nurses have left for those reasons.  

HGH administration is monitoring the staffing situation so a decision may be made to resume activities at a full capacity as soon as possible. 

“HGH continues to actively recruit to fill the vacancies,” Jean Louis said.

Surgeries and procedures being postponed and the decrease in the Family Birthing Centre activities are being selected on a set of clear criteria, including an ethical framework and consideration of the healthcare needs of the patients. The hospital is notifying patients directly affected by reductions in services. Anyone requiring urgent care is urged to go to the Emergency Department.  

Jean-Louis said there are no plans to close the Family Birthing Centre at HGH.  

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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