ICU to be closed again

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - Officials with the Cumberland Health Authority are preparing themselves for another disruption in intensive care coverage at the area's regional hospital.
Ann Keddy confirmed the ICU unit at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre will be closed for just over a week beginning at 7 a.m. on Christmas Eve.
"If nothing changes between now and then the unit will be closed to new admissions as of 7 a.m. on Dec. 24 and will remain closed until 7 a.m. on Jan. 1," Keddy said. "We're hoping to locate a locum to provide the necessary coverage, but if we aren't successful arrangements will be made."
It will be the third time in just over a month that service will be disrupted at the regional hospital because of an ongoing dispute between the hospital's three internal medicine specialists - Dr. Scott Bowen, Dr. Krystian Szczesny and Dr. Galina Miletskaia - and the Department of Health.
The specialists announced back in November they would be changing their on-call availability schedule from a one week in three rotation to one in four.
To date, the three specialists have not been able to agree with the current provincial offer for on-call services.
Dr. Brian Ferguson said physicians are growing tired of the situation.
"It's getting a little tiring," he said. "We're a regional hospital and we're expected to have certain services. When the ICU is closed it compromises our abilities as a regional centre."

Organizations: Cumberland Health Authority, Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre, Department of Health

Geographic location: AMHERST

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