Due to a sudden and unexpected gap in physician coverage, the Emergency Department (ED) at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre will be temporarily closed tonight until 10 p.m.

The ED will reopen and resume usual operation at 10 p.m. tonight.

AHS is working to ensure residents continue to have access to the care they need during this time. Nursing staff will remain on-site in the ED to provide triage and assessments to patients who present to the department. Patients will be referred to alternative care options depending on their condition.

EMS will transport patients requiring emergency care to nearby facilities, including Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre or the Wetaskiwin Health Centre.

Other care services at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre are not impacted by this temporary closure.

In the event local physician coverage is secured, the community will be informed, and the ED will remain fully operational.

AHS is grateful for the support of staff and physicians who have helped minimize this temporary disruption as much as possible. Additionally, AHS appreciates the support of surrounding healthcare centres and would like to thank the community for its patience and understanding during this time.