Ontario hospital closing ER once again due to ongoing staff shortages

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A hospital in southwestern Ontario will see another temporary closure of its emergency department due to ongoing staffing shortages.

In a news release, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance says Clinton Public Hospital will be closed on Thursday, but will return to reduced daily hours of operation on Friday.

The organization says increased demands on the healthcare system, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, are leading to staffing vacancies, adding that these pressures will "continue throughout the summer."

Clinton Public Hospital's emergency department was also closed on Saturday due to staffing shortages.

Meanwhile, Cambridge Memorial Hospital says wait times in its emergency department are "very high" today due to patient volumes, limited inpatient beds and ongoing staff shortages.

The latest data from Ontario Health shows that the average wait time for a patient to receive a first assessment by a doctor in an emergency room in the province was 2.1 hours in the month of June, while the average length of stay in an emergency room for all patients admitted to a hospital was 19.1 hours.