Urgent care services at Rainy Lake Medical Center are temporarily suspended until further notice, effective immediately.

RLMC is among growing list of strained healthcare systems pausing some services due to limited hospital space across the region and nation. RLMC’s decision allows priority to be given to patients needing the highest level of care.

Local hospital officials said if someone is in need of emergency care to come to the emergency room for treatment. Non-emergent care needs to be treated at Rainy Lake Clinic or other local clinic facilities.

“We of course want patients to come to the emergency room if they’re experiencing a health emergency,” said Cherrie Belanger, RLMC director of hospital nursing. “If a patient has health needs that can be attended to at our clinic, they need to contact the clinic for their care. We will continue to provide excellent care to our community.”

While RLMC does not have an intensive care unit, healthcare officials are seeing patients needing that level of care. However, bed and staffing shortages at other facilities in the region make it difficult to transfer patients elsewhere. While patients wait to be transferred to another facility, they remain in the emergency room to be cared for by staff who are trained and equipped to care for the sickest patients.

Rainy Lake Medical Center hopes to resume all services as soon as it is safely possible. Officials will continue to assess its operations, and could make additional modifications in the best interest of patients and staff.

RLMC officials also remind community members to be mindful of medical care management by scheduling routine care checkups for themselves and their children.

Rainy Lake Clinic offers extended hours from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. Thursday and Friday hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Same-day appointments are available. Rainy Lake Clinic can be reached at 218-283-5503.