CHETWYND -- The Emergency Department at the Chetwynd Hospital is once again being diverted as Northern Health continues to grapple with nurse and physician coverage.

The emergency department will be unavailable between 5:00 p.m. Tuesday until 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday June 4th.

The Health Authority says the timing of interruptions are subject to change.

“We are continually working to ensure coverage for emergency department shifts,” said Northern Health.

The shortage comes on the heels of 12 other hospital diversions in Chetwynd over the last five months due to chronic staffing shortages.

“People in Chetwynd and area who need life-threatening emergency care should call 9-1-1 for transport to the nearest available and appropriate facility,” said Northern Health.

MLA Dan Davies, who has been advocating for an independent audit of Northern Health, told CJDC-TV in an interview yesterday that challenges like this point to a failing healthcare system.

“I do not blame the health staff, whether it's the doctors, the nurses and such-- this is a bigger systemic issue within the system itself,” said Davies.

Davies says pressure placed on nurses due to staff shortages is contributing to an issue of burnout among healthcare workers.

In an effort to attract more nurses to work in Northern B.C., Northern Health announced a $30,000 signing bonus for new registered and licenced practical nurses willing to work in an emergency role.