Monday, March 18, 2024

Third Prince Rupert Hospital ER Closure in less than ten days, will raise concerns of a new normal for residents of the North Coast

Three Emergency Room closures since March 9th, two of them in less than 24 hours this past Saturday and Sunday continue to make for some shockwaves for residents concerned for the state of Health Care in Prince Rupert.

As we've noted over the course of those ten days,  last night, on Saturday and a week ago, the closure of the Emergency Room at PRRH was required as a result of an inability to secure physician services.

March 17 -- Sunday interruption added to weekend Closure issued for Emergency Room Service in  Rupert

March 16 --  Another Emergency Room Closure for Prince Rupert, as lack of physician coverage issue rises again  

March 9 -- Prince Rupert Regional Hospital Emergency Department unavailable to residents Overnight to 8AM Saturday

Patients with health concerns were being directed to either virtual health options or to call 911 for serious health issues and a possible transit to Terrace two hours to the east of the city.

Northern Health used it's social media stream to share word of the closures, with two of three of the ER closures also shared by the City of Prince Rupert.

Prior to the twin closures of this weekend, Northern Health appeared to be preparing the community for more of those situations, with a social media relay of information focused on what Service Interruptions are about.

With the increased frequency of the closures for the Prince Rupert Emergency Room, still to be heard from is comment from the BC Ambulance service, providing some background on how the potential increase of transits to the Terrace facility may impact on local service in the community.

It wasn't that long ago that the local Ambulance station was facing short staffing and other issues that had raised concerns of City Council.   

What measures may be in place to bolster Ambulance service with this additional burden now in place,  should be one of a number areas of note that Northern Health should include as part of a review for the public. With the Heath Authority also advising as to what steps they are taking to address what is a very concerning situation when it comes to Health care for the community.

As Prince Rupert residents were weighing their options as to whether their health issues of the weekend required a late night trip to Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace. 

In perhaps the worst timing possible for a release of a promotional video for the new Terrace hospital ... Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice and Terrace Mayor Sean Bujtas posted a Video to X-Twitter on Saturday.  

The trio having just taken a tour of the new facility earlier in the day; clearly quite impressed at the state of the art medical care set to come  to the Terrace area by year's end.

For Ms. Rice, the first focus was on the modern facility that will be opened to the public in Terrace.

"It's incredible, it's so modern, I don't think a lot of us in the Northwest are used to this calibre of modernization.

Ms. Rice also had some notes to direct to Prince Rupert residents towards the new status of the Terrace facility as a Trauma centre.

"But I think it's really important just for the folks back home in Prince Rupert that are feeling a bit jealous.

 But I think it's really important to know that this is going to be a trauma centre, so when your loved one gets shipped out, you're only two hours away or an hour and half away.

So instead of them going to Vancouver like we've been doing for years and years out of Prince Rupert, you'll be able to drive here or find a ride here and be there to comfort your loved one.

So this is a really important hospital for the entire Northwest"

All valid points for regional health care, but at the moment, that's likely not the number one discussion point that Ms. Rice's constituents might have for their MLA, who is also the Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health.

You can review their thoughts on the new Terrace facility here.

More background related to Health Care in the Northwest can be explored here.


  1. Jennifer Terrace is not your domain. How about a video of you trying to get into emergency in Prince Rupert when it is closed.

    1. September 14th, 2021.

      Our MLA touted the following announcement on her Facebook page.

      Government is providing up to $6.38 million for programs and incentives to encourage more health workers to discover the advantages of working and living in the North.

      “Every person living in the North deserves to have the best possible health care close to home, when and where they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

      Close to home is two hours away according to the NDP. Don't be jealous about that.

    2. Results matter. The NDP is great at proclamations and announcements but life on the North Coast has become substantially worse since they formed government. When are north coast residents going to wake up and give someone else a chance to represent them? This just isn’t working.

    3. It’s difficult to stomach listening to Jennifer Rice. “But, but, so, so.” How does this hospital help us when we’re at emergency doors in PR and are told to call 911 when doctors are literally at home? I keep on hearing that this is the fault of Northern Health, what is the exact issue? Is this the physicians way of protesting?

    4. She says folks back at home are feeling a bit jealous. What? That's your elected ndp mla talking lol. Wow.

  2. This is not “normal”, Jennifer Rice has basically let constituents see how disconnected she is with PR’s struggles. Terrace is the new trauma center, between life and death, we are once again dealt another blow. How bloody stupid does one have to be to think is so wonderful for PR?

  3. This not just a BC problem. Emergency rooms are closing in Alberta too under the Conservatives Danielle Smith government

  4. Pretty sad for all of us relying on our medical system to be there when we need it . Now we have had the city of Prince rupert turning their back on us , the physicians and of course the politicians that are supposed to have our back ? Pathetic! We have people in distress and the golden hour is a 1 1/2 away . Shameful , truly ashamed of everyone!!!! 😡😡😡😡😡

    1. It's not really accurate to say they've 'turned their back on the community".

      Both City Council and the MLA are aware of the issue

      Though clearly the community is seeking answers that they so far can't deliver on


  5. Direct your outrage towards Northern Health. They are the issue. They are the common denominator.
    Shame on Northern Health!

    1. Isn’t the current NDP government responsible for health care. The buck stops at the top.

    2. A decade in Victoria for our MLA. During that time she advocated for rural health as a critic and now as parliamentary secretary of rural health.
      Keep voting NDP, if you’re ok shipping your loved ones out of town for healthcare.

    3. What would any other government have done differently to keep doctors here and emergency open without ‘interruptions?’ What has Northern Health done to cause this. Doctors aren’t blaming government, they’re blaming health authorities.

    4. What exactly has NH done to cause this?

  6. What has NH Done to cause this. Nothing, they have done nothing. Right now our existing medical team is extremely overworked and dr’s are leaving to find balance and I don’t blame them. A shame to let this happen

  7. How long before “Feeling a bit jealous” turns into “Feeling a bit dead”?…because emergency is shut again. Honestly, think before you talk please. Or better still, fund our hospital….we pay taxes too.

  8. Every single outlying village, and Haida Gwaii residents need emergency medivacs into Rupert. Or Vancouver is only other option.