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Squamish Hospital maternity patients diverted to other facilities amid staff shortage

SQUAMISH, B.C. — The health authority for the Vancouver area says expectant parents in Squamish, B.C.
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A person walks past Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Vancouver Coastal Health says some patients using maternity services at Squamish General Hospital may be diverted to other health-care facilities this month due to a so-called "temporary gap in coverage." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

SQUAMISH, B.C. — The health authority for the Vancouver area says expectant parents in Squamish, B.C., may be diverted to other health-care facilities in the region this month due to what it calls a "temporary gap in coverage" at the Squamish General Hospital.

Vancouver Coastal Health issued a news release saying patients going into labour in early July could be sent to Lions Gate Hospital, Richmond Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital or B.C. Women’s Hospital, where appropriate obstetrics care is available.

The health authority says it will make the referral process as seamless as possible, with the regional emergency operations centre working to help move patients to other facilities.

It says it understands the decision may cause concern and apologizes for the disruption.

The authority says the move is temporary and it is working to address gaps in service, including the current staffing shortage.

It says such measures include targeted recruitment and redesigning staffing models where necessary.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press