New signs after problem at Masset hospital

  • Jul. 24, 2013 5:00 p.m.

Northern Health will be installing new signs at the Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital to provide better direction to members of the public about which doors to use, says communications officer Jonathon Dyck. The announcement comes after two Port Clements residents complained about their experience earlier this month seeking emergency medical attention at the facility, although Mr. Dyck said the decision to put up new signs is not necessarily related. Port residents Brigid Cumming and Wendy Quinn said they were surprised to find that the hospital’s emergency entrance is kept locked at all times. When they attempted to enter the hospital that way just after noon on July 9, they were re-directed to the main entrance, but said no one came out to help them and there was also no one at the main entrance desk. Mr. Dyck said the Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital does indeed keep its emergency entrance locked 24 hours a day, for security reasons. “It’s for the safety of our staff and physicians,” he said. The main entrance is open from 7 am until 9 pm, he said. Anyone who needs medical attention between those hours should use the main entrance. People who arrive at the hospital after 9 pm and before 7 am should go to the emergency entrance (also known as the after-hours entrance), where there is a camera and intercom. “They can buzz, and staff will come out and help them in,” Mr. Dyck said. “Sometimes it does take staff a little bit of time to get to the door.” If it’s taking too long, people should try the buzzer again or call the emergency department with a phone, he said. New signs to clarify the procedure will be installed at the hospital in the near future, Mr. Dyck said.