The Canmore Hospital OR is resuming weekend operations after being closed the last two weekends due to a nursing shortage.
Dr. Brendan Flowers, physician and owner of Mountain Maternity and Family Medicine, is relieved some weekend coverage has been obtained but says they are still on the lookout for long-term sustainable options.
"So from here on, we're of the understanding it will stay open but I would love to get the message out that we're looking for OR nurses and OB nurses, people who would like to be contributing to this wonderful community and a thriving obstetrical program," says Dr. Flowers.
He believes physicians, nurses, and other professionals often assume there are no positions available in the popular mountain community, but it's quite the contrary.
"Like many communities across Canada, we are looking for physicians and nurses, and other professionals. So don't let the stereotype fool you. We're still actively recruiting physicians and nurses so please reach out to any and all clinics and the hospital."
The weekend closures did impact some of their patients.
"We did have some patients from Canmore go to Calgary to deliver over the weekend, and they were understandably upset just because they had a hope and a dream to deliver in Canmore, so we're optimistic that we can continue to offer that same great passionate and personalized care in the Canmore Hospital."
He says Canmore is a unique environment from a hospital and healthcare perspective.
"We do have quite a few people from Cochrane coming west to Canmore to receive care, so I do look at it as a broader geographic area that we can serve, not only the Bow Valley but also Cochrane, northwest Calgary, and surrounding area."
Alberta Health Services announced the hospital would be diverting obstetrics patients on weekends starting Feb. 3, and originally anticipated that would continue until the end of March.