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Ontario ER, urgent care center to temporarily close amid labor shortages

A hospital in southwestern Ontario says it will close its emergency department overnight Thursday, the latest in a number of recent temporary ER and urgent care center closures in the province.

Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance did not cite a reason for the Clinton Public Hospital’s closure in its announcement, but the organization has repeatedly pushed to temporarily close three of its community hospital ERs, including in Clinton, Ont., this year due to staffing pressures.

The latest Statistics Canada data shows job vacancies in health care were at an all-time high across the country and trending up, even as the recent increase in labor shortages across other major sectors showed signs of tapering off.

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Hamilton Health Sciences says its urgent care center will be closed again on Jan. 1 because of “physician pressures,” after it was closed for the same reason on Dec. 25.

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Meanwhile, Campbellford Memorial Hospital closed its ER for most of Christmas Day citing a nursing shortage, then again for several hours on Wednesday because of what it called an unexpected physician shortage.

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