News release

Premier Announces Improvements to Health Care

Two initiatives announced in Sydney today, July 5, by Premier Darrell Dexter will improve primary and emergency health care in Nova Scotia.

As part of the Better Care Sooner plan, Premier Dexter unveiled Nova Scotia's first two-stretcher ambulance. It will improve the transfer of patients between health care facilities. A new nurse practitioner was also named for the Cape Breton District Health Authority to provide services to residents in North Sydney and Sydney Mines.

The two-stretcher ambulance will transfer non-emergency patients between the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and the Halifax Regional Municipality.

"This ambulance will increase efficiency in our health care system," said Premier Dexter. "It will also better protect the health and safety of Nova Scotians by opening up the availability of other ambulances for emergency response in communities."

The ambulance has been operating out of the Glace Bay paramedic base since June 20. It was manufactured by by TriStar Industries in Yarmouth.

A new nurse practitioner will provide services to residents of Northside Community Guest Home in North Sydney and Miner's Memorial Manor in Sydney Mines.

"Nurse practitioners contribute to more effective and efficient patient care for residents, help reduce wait times in emergency rooms, and most importantly give seniors the care they need at home," said Premier Dexter.
"This is my passion and I'm excited to be in this new role. As a nurse practitioner I am fortunate to be part of a larger health team enhancing the delivery of primary care in the community," said nurse practitioner Bev Justin-Muldoon.
"Collaborating with team members and working directly with our nursing home residents and their families lets me be part of their everyday lives and that is special. This primary care approach as we know from experience is a great fit for a continuing care environment."

By the end of 2011, three additional nurse practitioners will be hired to work in nursing homes in the South Shore, South West and Cumberland health districts.

Over the past year, government has taken a number of actions under Better Care Sooner which will lead to more improvements in emergency health service. They include:

  • introducing Nova Scotia's first Collaborative Emergency Centre in Parrsboro, with three more centres to be launched this year
  • diverting almost 1,200 patients from the QEII emergency department to the new Rapid Assessment Unit
  • hiring paramedics to work at nursing homes so seniors can be treated where they live, rather than making the frail and elderly wait in ambulances at emergency rooms
  • training advanced care paramedics so they can immediately give a blood clot busting drug to people having heart attacks, rather than waiting until they arrive at hospital
  • launching the Supportive Care Program, which gives low-income seniors and their caregivers greater control and flexibility to organize home care
  • launching a Healthlink 811 public awareness campaign so people know they can call a nurse 24 hours a day and receive professional advice over the telephone

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Two initiatives announced in Sydney today (July 5th) by Premier Darrell Dexter will improve primary and emergency health care in Nova Scotia.

As part of the Better Care Sooner plan, Premier Dexter unveiled Nova Scotia's first two-stretcher ambulance. It will improve the transfer of patients between health care facilities.

A new nurse practitioner was also named for the Cape Breton District Health Authority to provide services to residents in North Sydney and Sydney Mines.

Premier Dexter says the vehicle will increase efficiency in our health care system and nurse practitioners contribute to more effective and efficient patient care.

Over the past year, government has taken a number of actions under Better Care Sooner which will lead to more improvements in emergency health service.

-30-

Media Contacts:

Janet Lynn McNeil
Executive Council 902-237-4287 E-mail:
Carla Grant
Department of Health and Wellness 902-424-7558 E-mail: