New Hazelton is facing a doctor shortage over the spring and summer months.
Northern Health says a number of planned departures by physicians in the community will likely mean longer wait times to see a doctor for non-urgent care or to book an appointment at the clinic from late April to mid-August.
The health authority says one physician is expected to return from leave in June and three more are expected to arrive in August, bringing staffing levels close to full strength.
In the meantime, Northern Health is advising people to renew prescriptions for the next few months, book medical appointments well in advance, and use the Wrinch Memorial Hospital emergency room for urgent health concerns only.
Northern Health recently took over health services in the Hazeltons from the United Church Health Services Society, but says the doctor shortage has nothing to do with the transfer of services.