News release

Collaborative Emergency Centre To Provide Better Health Care to People of Tatamagouche Area

People living in and around Tatamagouche will have improved access to emergency care with the creation of a Collaborative Emergency Centre at Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital.

The establishment of these centres fulfills a key commitment of Better Care Sooner, government's response to the Ross Report.

"The people of the North Shore, who for years have encountered closed doors at the ER, will soon have services that match their needs," said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald.

"The creation of collaborative emergency centres is a key part of government's commitment to ensure Nova Scotians and their families receive better health care, sooner."

Emergency room problems, including long waits, overcrowding and unplanned closures, have troubled Nova Scotia's health care system for years. Between April 2010 and March, 2011, the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital had 1,952 hours of temporary closure.

Collaborative emergency centres are helping to address these issues by keeping emergency rooms open, reducing patient wait times and providing a team-based approach that offers continuity of care. This ensures that patients can get the appropriate treatment before a minor health issue turns into a health crisis.

"Moving ahead with a CEC model will help us provide more consistent, reliable care for our communities," said Peter MacKinnon, CEO of the Colchester East Hants Health Authority. "We look forward to developing a model that will best serve our residents and rolling-out this new approach to care later this year."

The services at the CEC will include:

  • access to primary health care by a team of professionals, including doctors and nurse practitioners, for 12 hours per day, seven days per week
  • same-day or next-day access to medical appointments;
  • 24/7 access to emergency care.

In Tatamagouche, decisions are still being made about the exact structure of the CEC. The Colchester East Hants District Health Authority is working with the community and with officials at the Department of Health and Wellness to develop the best possible CEC for the area.

"For a long time, our community has been dealing with inconsistent emergency department closures and long waits to see a family doctor," said Tatamagouche resident and Community Health Board member Debbie Davis-Maybee. "The creation of this CEC is a huge step forward. It will bring an element of stability that was lacking before.

"For the first time in many years, we will have better access to family doctors during the day and consistent access to the emergency department in the evening."

Nova Scotia's first Collaborative Emergency Centre opened in Parrsboro in July of 2011. The province plans to announce another three collaborative emergency centres by March 31, 2012, and another four the following year.

For more information on the province's Better Care Sooner plan, please visit: www.gov.ns.ca/health/bettercaresooner.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald announced the creation of Nova Scotia's second Collaborative Emergency Centre in Tatamagouche today (October 4th).

The centres will give Nova Scotians in smaller communities improved access to emergency care and will also enable them to see a doctor same-day or next-day.

The establishment of these centres fulfills a key commitment of Better Care Sooner, government's response to the Ross Report.

Nova Scotia's first Collaborative Emergency Centre opened in Parrsboro in July of 2011. The province plans to announce another three collaborative emergency centres by March 31st, 2012 and another four the following year.

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Media Contacts:

Carla Grant
Health and Wellness 902-424-7558 Cell: 902-478-1683 E-mail:
Krista Wood
Colchester East Hants Health Authority 902-893-5554 ext. 2409 Cell: 902-890-4354 E-mail: