As Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) continues to experience staffing shortages, especially for physicians and nurses in the Emergency Departments, the organization is launching a public awareness campaign.
The campaign encourages community members to ‘Stop-Check-Go’ before visiting an HHHS Emergency Department, as ongoing staffing shortages may require temporary closures. Officials say anyone in need of serious medical attention such as chest pain, severe blood loss, head injury, or shortness of breath, should call 911.
In the case of a temporary emergency department closure, emergency medical services will take patients to the next closest department.
Officials are also asking community members to first ‘stop’ and consider whether self-care can address their concerns such as twisted ankles, sunburns, minor abrasions, or seasonal allergies, or if they should call their doctor for an appointment in case of chronic symptoms, back pain, or stomach aches. Residents are then asked to ‘check’ on the status of the HHHS departments, by calling the general phone line at 705-457-1392 and using extension 2555, visiting the website at www.hhhs.ca or looking up the organization’s social media channels. If an emergency department has been forced to close temporarily, notice will be posted on these channels, and shared with the media.
HHHS President and CEO Carolyn Plummer says the pandemic has made their staffing problem even worse. “We want to make sure people are aware of how critical our staffing situation really is, and we are going to keep this messaging out there over the summer months.”
“HHHS continues its work to retain its current staff, recruit new staff members, and explore all options and alternatives to deliver high-quality care to residents, cottagers, and visitors of Haliburton County and the surrounding area,” she adds.