WELLS, Maine — York Hospital in Wells has announced it is temporarily suspending emergency-level care, citing staffing shortages as the reason.
Starting Monday, Oct. 25, York Hospital, at the Wells location, will temporarily not offer emergency services.
The hospital says it will continue to offer urgent care to all patients, seven days a week, from the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The hospital says those experiencing life-threatening symptoms (severe pain, difficulty breathing) to call 911 or visit the Emergency Department located on the York campus.
All other services currently provided at the Wells site, including outpatient laboratory and X-ray, remain available, according to the hospital.
In a statement provided to NEWS CENTER Maine, York Hospital President and CEO Dr. Patrick Taylor said the hospital has been experiencing staffing shortages. However, he said the shortages are not due to Maine's vaccine mandate for health care workers.
"The vaccine mandate has not contributed to our decision to temporarily close the emergency services component of York Hospital in Wells. Rather, the overall continued labor shortages faced by all of health care over the past two years, significantly influenced by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to health care workers, is fundamental to what we’re currently experiencing," Taylor said. "Universally, health care has seen their workers leaving for other industries, retiring early and especially in nursing, taking on “traveler opportunities.”
According to Taylor, 98% of the hospital's caregivers are vaccinated.