HALIFAX -- The Vitalite Health Network is asking people to avoid going to the emergency department at the Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, N.B., for the next two weeks.

Vitalite said in a news release that the hospital has been "dealing with a very high occupancy rate" since August which "causes congestion in the facility’s emergency department."

It is asking people "to minimize traffic by avoiding, whenever possible, going to the facility’s emergency department" until Sept. 28.

"The facility’s Emergency Department remains available for people who need urgent care and who wish to see a doctor," Vitalite says in the news release. "However, the Network asks people whose health condition does not require urgent care to see their family doctor or nurse practitioner, visit a walk-in clinic or call Tele-Care (811)."

Vitalite says a number of factors are contributing to the congestion.

  • staff shortages;
  • high number of elderly patients awaiting placement in a nursing home or special care home; and,
  • a high hospitalization rate.