News release

Collaborative Emergency Centre Will Provide Better Care to Pugwash Area

Nova Scotians living in Pugwash and surrounding communities will soon receive better care and increased access to emergency services with the announcement today, Oct. 14, of a collaborative emergency centre at the North Cumberland Memorial Hospital.

The Pugwash centre will be the third in the province, providing same-day, or next-day medical appointments and 24/7 emergency care.

"The peace of mind that comes with stable, accessible health care cannot be measured," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "It was clear that Nova Scotians were concerned about the care available to them in their communities. Hospitals struggled with chronic emergency room closures and long waits.

"We made a commitment to ensure better health care for Nova Scotians and their families, and with today's announcement of another collaborative emergency centre, we are fulfilling that commitment."

Collaborative emergency centres help address issues of emergency department overcrowding and long waits to see family doctors. These centres will keep emergency departments open, reduce patient wait times and provide a team-based approach that offers continuity of care.

The services at the CEC in 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 while providing emergency care 24/7.

"More than anything else, Nova Scotians want stability with regard to our health care," said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald. "In rural communities, these centres bring peace of mind because they ensure faster and consistent health care."

In Pugwash, decisions are still being made about the exact structure of the collaborative centre. The Cumberland Health Authority is working with the community and officials at the Department of Health and Wellness to develop the best centre for the area.

"It is important that Collaborative Emergency Centres be designed to meet the unique health care needs of each community," said Bruce Quigley, CEO of the Cumberland Health Authority. "As we move forward, we will be working with health care professionals as well as residents in the Pugwash area to ensure the model provides improved access to primary health care and timely emergency care."

Nova Scotia's first Collaborative Emergency Centre opened in Parrsboro in July. The province plans to announce a fourth collaborative emergency centre by March 31, and another four the following year.

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

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Premier Darrell Dexter and Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald are in Pugwash today (October 14th) to announce Nova Scotia's third Collaborative Emergency Centre.

The centres allow Nova Scotians living in smaller communities to: access to primary health care by a team of professionals -- including doctors and nurse practitioners for extended hours, seven days per week; have same-day or next-day access to appointments; and 24/7 access to emergency care.

-30-

Media Contacts:

Jennifer Stewart
Premier's Office 902-497-7198 E-mail:
Carla Grant
Health and Wellness 902-424-7558 Cell: 902-478-1683 E-mail: