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Statement from Andree Robichaud, President and CEO

May 5, 2022

When there is a temporary closure of an emergency room service at a health care facility, this means that there are NO emergency services at the site. There are NO health care providers, including Registered Nurses, available to respond to a phone call or visit to the site and 911 must be called for an emergency response. Registered Nurses on site are only able to provide care to those who are currently admitted as part of daily, routine care. Registered Nurses continue to work to their full scope of practice when there is a temporary closure of an ER service however, they are not permitted to diagnose a patient’s health condition and/or treat patients without a Physician’s order. Residents who require a non-emergency response can call 811 which is available 24 hours per day.

Central Health conveys its unwavering support for all Nursing staff who work within the health authority. Central Health Nursing staff, in both rural and acute settings, are highly qualified individuals who are well-trained and practice to the highest standard.

Following best practice guidelines, nursing standards of practice, a code of ethics, accreditation standards and clear direction from Central Health with regard to organizational guidelines and policies, Nurses within Central Health ensure quality care for all Central Health residents, patients and clients on a 24/7 basis.

While we understand and acknowledge the concern and frustrations that may arise when there is a temporary closure of a program or service, we must respect the work, and the wellness and safety of those who provide care within their scope of practice.

A temporary closure of a service such as the emergency room service is an absolute last resort when there is no one available who can manage a patient who arrives at the health care facility extremely unwell and who needs hands-on care that can’t be provided through a virtual connection.

A temporary closure of an emergency room (diversion) means patients must go to a different emergency room than the one they would normally attend, either by ambulance or traveling to the closest emergency room service themselves.

Central Health is committed to providing quality healthcare in Central Newfoundland and understands the concern of residents when an emergency room service is temporarily closed. Central Health is working hard to recruit physicians and other members of the healthcare team. We appreciate your patience and ask that we work together to make civility and respect a part of every interaction during this challenging and unprecedented time.



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