SLMHC is in a similar boat as LWDH, both medical facilities are working hard to avoid service disruptions this summer.  

Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC), along with their community health partners, announced on June 30, that they are pursuing all possible options to keep their Emergency Room doors open.  

The region is currently facing physician and staff shortages leaving most of the medical facilities in the area extremely short-staffed. According to SLMHC, they have been working with external supports to find physician coverages to avert service disruptions and potential closures. 

“We’re thankful for the dedication of our staff and partners, who have worked hard to make sure we’ve had no closures to date. We remain focused on seeking long-term, sustainable solutions to ensure everyone in our service area has access to necessary healthcare resources,” says Douglas Semple, SLMHC President and CEO. 

While the possibility of Emergency Department closures remains, SLMHC has stated that they will work hard to find appropriate solutions for the entire service area. 

In their statement, SLMHC said, “In the event of an isolated closure, SLMHC will provide detailed information to our service population that will outline the length of the closure and how people can access crucial care services.” 

A situation not exclusive to SLMHC, Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LWDH) shared on June 30, that they are in a similar situation.  

Ray Racette, CEO of LWDH, said that over all of the hospital’s many departments, they’re seeing an over 40 per cent shift vacancy on average due to the shortage, with about 30 to 40 shifts per month not being filled. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital says its shift vacancy rate ranged from 7 to 10 per cent.