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Mayor says social media rumours of two North Island hospitals closing in June are untrue

Island Health has no plans to close Port McNeill and Alert Bay hospitals
Port McNeill hospital. (North Island Gazette file photo)

With rumours swirling on social media that two North Island hospitals would be “closing” by June, Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom issued a statement on her official Facebook account that she’s spoken with Island Health and the rumours are completely untrue.

“We are aware of the current state of our health care system and have been working diligently with Island Health, the ‘Namgis [First Nation], locally elected leaders and provincial leaders for a better model of health care for the North Island,” wrote Wickstrom in her social media post, adding there were a number of issues raised “in a recent video circulating on social media” that was ultimately responsible for the controversy.

The social media rumours were claiming that Island Health is in the process of closing the labs in Alert Bay and Port McNeill hospitals. Wickstrom said she has confirmed with Island Health that is not accurate and they aren’t going to be closing the labs in Alert Bay or Port McNeill, “nor are there plans to at this time.”

As for future plans of closing Port McNeill Hospital as an acute care site by June, again, Island Health confirmed with Wickstrom that statement “is not accurate and there are no plans to close Port McNeill Hospital.”

She added if you have any concerns or personal stories to the contrary, please reach out to Island Health directly:


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Tyson Whitney

About the Author: Tyson Whitney

I have been working in the community newspaper business for nearly a decade, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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