Kanakanak Hospital cannot accept inpatients due to staffing shortage
For a week, the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation says it has been unable to accept inpatients because of a staffing shortage at Kanakanak Hospital in Dillingham. On April 8, it began diverting patients who need acute care to other hospitals in Alaska and the Lower 48.
BBAHC lacks a hospitalist–a doctor with expertise in caring for hospitalized patients, according to the health corporation’s public information officer, Cynthia Rogers.
“BBAHC expects to be able to admit inpatients to the hospital by May 1,” said Rogers. “For the month of May, we have secured a hospitalist…We continue to make efforts to get staffing in place sooner than that.”
In the meantime, routine and emergency medical care are still available at Kanakanak Hospital. The emergency department and outpatient clinic are still staffed and operating.
“This should not deter anyone from seeking care at Kanakanak Hospital, said Rogers. “We're able to offer same-day appointments for patients in most cases, and our emergency department will provide ongoing care for patients who need it… Although we're not admitting new patients into our inpatient facility, our emergency department would stabilize any patients who come in for care before they're transported to an inpatient hospital.”
BBAHC typically transports patients with acute medical needs by medevac, according to Rogers.