11/26/2014 06:22 EST | Updated 01/26/2015 05:59 EST

Staffing shortages prompt E-R closures next month at two Cape Breton hospitals

SYDNEY, N.S. - Two Cape Breton hospitals will experience emergency department closures throughout the month of December because of a shortage of doctors and nurses to cover the regular shifts at the facilities.

The Cape Breton District Health Authority says the ER at the Northside General Hospital in North Sydney will be closed at night and overnight seven days a week beginning Nov. 30.

Officials say the facility will remain open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The collaborative emergency centre at the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital will see closures every Monday through December.

The facility will also not be open at night or on Sundays, but will be open during the day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Martha MacLean, the district's director of emergency services, says the facilities are working to address staff shortages while dealing with Christmas vacation schedules.