Essa’s date was scheduled for 11 a.m., but when she arrived she was surprised to find it wasn’t open.
“I had to be there around 11 am to get them to remove the device that I fell over and the LifeLabs was actually closed,” she says.
Essa says her heart monitor was inserted on Thursday and she received specific instructions to return LifeLabs the next day for removal. She says she rechecked LifeLabs’ hours of operation and never received any calls or messages regarding the sudden shutdown.
« [I was] definitely concerned with what I’m doing now, ”Essa said. “They were very explicit about not going beyond 24 hours. “
LifeLabs is a privately held and popular medical testing service with over a dozen locations across South Vancouver Island. Many residents rely on LifeLabs for a variety of services, including heart monitoring and general blood tests.
Essa says as more arrived for dates this Friday a queue started forming with many more as confused as her. She says she decided to call LifeLabs but was put on hold for almost an hour.
So, in the meantime, Essa decided to post her story online to see if anyone else in the area could shed light on the issue. She soon learned that she was far from alone.
“It immediately started to elicit comments,” Essa said. “A lot of people say they’ve been in a similar situation. “
It turns out that LifeLabs, like so many other businesses on Vancouver Island, is experiencing a labor shortage, which has resulted in unplanned closures of some locations in Greater Victoria.
“We are experiencing higher retirement rates and higher turnover due to the impacts of COVID-19. This has created shortages that have had a significant impact on the local LifeLabs teams and recently resulted in unplanned shutdowns in the Victoria area, ”LifeLabs told CHEK News in a statement.
The labor shortage hit LifeLabs so hard that the company announced the temporary closure of two locations in Greater Victoria – their location in downtown Westshore at 2945 Jacklin Rd. In Langford and their location in 1990. Fort St. in Oak Bay – next week.
“LifeLabs has made the difficult decision to temporarily close two sites in Victoria starting next week. Staff at these sites will be redeployed to ensure consistent and reliable service to our customers, ”the company said in its statement to CHEK News.
LifeLabs hopes to reopen these sites in early 2022 and says they are actively recruiting medical lab assistants.
Essa says she received an apology from LifeLabs on Saturday and was able to have her heart monitor removed at another location.
Another option instead of LifeLabs is through Island Health.
For more information on their medical lab locations, click here.