Residents in Estevan, Canada are being asked to avoid the St. Joseph’s Hospital emergency room (ER) unless absolutely necessary due to staff shortages.

The city only has seven physicians at present, but St Jospeh’s CEO Normand Poirier estimates that they need at least 12.

Between 50 and 60 people attend the ER each night, and physicians have been coming from neighbouring communities to help the hospital meet demand.

An eighth physician is expected to arrive at St Joseph’s in October, and Poirier said the hospital is seeking 10 to 15 more.

“I feel confident that come the fall, we’re going to have a physician compliment that is reflective of the needs of a dynamic city like Estevan,” Poirier said.

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