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Spokane VA hospital closing emergency room in overnight hours, sending patients elsewhere

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SPOKANE, Washington — The Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center will close its emergency room in the overnight hours beginning Dec. 1.

The VA Northwest Health Network says it's a temporary reduction due to a shortage of ER doctors.

Spokeswoman Megan Crowley in Vancouver tells The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/13MjqPf ) the VA hopes to hire more doctors and reopen the emergency department 24 hours a day in the spring.

Starting in December, the emergency department in Spokane will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Crowley says veterans who need care when the department is closed should call 911 or go to another hospital.

The Spokane VA emergency department typically handles about 17,000 patients a year.

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