Nova Scotia's first Collaborative Emergency Centre, a key commitment under the Better Care Sooner plan, has opened in Parrsboro.
Nova Scotians in the Parrsboro area can now see a doctor the same day or next day and will have 24/7 access to emergency care.
The centre opened July 27 and has had a successful first week, according to the district health authority. Since that date, about 300 patients have been treated at the centre, including 13 patients seen overnight.
Emergency room problems such as long-waits, overcrowding and unplanned closures have been a problem for Nova Scotia's health care system for many years. Collaborative emergency centres will help address this by keeping emergency rooms open, reducing patient wait times and providing better care for Nova Scotians and their families.
"The people of the Parrsboro area who once had to wait weeks to see their family doctor or who encountered closed doors at the ER now have services matched to their needs," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "As part of the Better Care Sooner plan, collaborative emergency centres will help create stability within our health-care system."
"Collaborative Emergency Centres are part of government's overall plan to make life better for families in Nova Scotia," said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald. "Over the next month, the Department of Health and Wellness and officials from the Cumberland Health Authority will work with the Parrsboro team to ensure a successful transition to this enhanced model of primary health care and emergency care delivery."
The collaborative emergency centre in Parrsboro is providing:
-- access to primary health care by a team of professionals, including doctors and nurse practitioners, between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., seven days per week
-- same-day or next-day access to appointments
-- 24/7 access to emergency care
During the day, doctors will be available at the collaborative emergency centre to treat patients. Between 8:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m., an advanced care paramedic, teamed with a registered nurse, will staff the centre to ensure patients get the care they need. A certified EHS oversight physician will provide assistance by phone.
"This new model of meeting the health needs of people in the Parrsboro area is a very positive step forward," said Bruce Quigley, CEO of the Cumberland Health Authority. "In the past, we have had ongoing difficulties in securing full-time physician coverage. With this change physicians will no longer have to work overnight in the emergency department, which will free them up to work during the day when patients need them the most."
At least three more collaborative emergency centres are expected to open this year, fulfilling a key commitment of Better Care Sooner, government's response to Dr. John Ross's report.
For more information on Better Care Sooner or to download a copy of the report, visit www.gov.ns.ca/health/bettercaresooner
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Nova Scotia's first collaborative emergency centre began
operating in Parrsboro on July 27th.
This new model of health-care delivery will provide
primary health care by a team of professionals, including doctors
and nurse practitioners between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., seven
days per week, same-day or next-day appointments, and 24/7 access
to emergency care.
Emergency care in the evening will be provided by an
advanced care paramedic and a registered nurse. A certified EHS
oversight physician will provide supervision by phone.
Premier Darrell Dexter says people in the Parrsboro area
will now have health-care services to meet their needs.
Media Contacts: Jennifer Stewart
Health and Wellness
Cumberland Health Authority
902-752-7600 ext: 1124