Patients heading to Royal Jubilee Hospital by ambulance were being diverted for about two hours Tuesday morning.
A spokesperson for Island Health confirmed that from approximately 8 to 10 a.m. ambulances were being directed to Victoria General Hospital instead because of capacity issues in the emergency department.
“It’s very unusual,” said Meribeth Burton, Island Health media relations. But she noted the local hospitals all work in concert with each other for when these rare circumstances arise.
She added patients walking into the emergency department at Jubilee were accepted as normal and would not have noticed.
One of the factors that contributed to the capacity issues is an usually high volume of patients.
Burton noted hospitals in the region are seeing a high number of patients – mostly seniors – with upper respiratory issues such as pneumonia, which is not typical for the first week of October.