News release

Innovative Urgent Treatment Centre to open in Cape Breton

Starting November 1, Nova Scotians living in North Sydney and surrounding communities in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality will have a new option to get urgent healthcare treatment close to home.

The Northside Urgent Treatment Centre, located in the Northside General Hospital, will provide care for those with unexpected, non-life-threatening health concerns that require same or next day treatment. Some examples include simple fractures, sprains, earaches, minor cuts and mild mental health support. The centre is available to people with or without a family doctor or nurse practitioner.

“This is a new way of offering care to Nova Scotians and the goal is to improve access to healthcare when and where people need it,” Premier Tim Houston said today, October 25, at the centre. “We know change is needed in our healthcare system, and we have to find new and better ways to provide care. This urgent treatment centre moves us in the right direction.”

The centre will differ from an emergency department in several ways: care provided is for non-life-threatening injuries and illness; ambulances do not bring patients to the centre; and patients must make an appointment (usually, either same day or next day). Patients requiring emergency care should continue to call 911.

Nova Scotia Health will be hosting a public education session about the new centre on Thursday, October 28, at the Emera Centre Northside at 6 p.m. Due to COVID-19 gathering limits, registration is required. Registration information for the session will be available from Nova Scotia Health soon.

Quotes:

We need to ensure Nova Scotians have as much access to primary care as possible using new and innovative models. The Northside Urgent Treatment Centre came about after looking at what other jurisdictions are doing, and I would like to thank all the people who worked on this and their thinking outside the box. Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness

We know we need to do things differently and are excited about rolling out this new model of care. We believe the Northside Urgent Treatment Centre will provide much-needed access to non-emergency care to Northside residents and those in nearby communities, which is welcome news to our staff, physicians and patients. Duane Jessome, Manager, Northside Urgent Treatment Centre

For the past year, our team of nurses, Nova Scotia Health staff, patient representatives and physicians have been looking closely at urgent care options across Canada. We know this is a great need in our community, and we are very excited to announce this particular model. It will allow us to provide a great service to our patients and better meet the needs of patients, families, and the Northside community. Dr. Joan Salah, Primary Healthcare Physician Co-Lead, Eastern Zone, Nova Scotia Health

We needed to think outside the box to get people the right care at the right time and the Northside Urgent Treatment Centre model is a good example of that. With a set schedule, we are now able to give the people in our community certainty about where and when to go for care. The physicians who will be working in the centre are excited to use their existing skills and training to enable better access for urgent healthcare needs. Dr. Stephanie Langley, Physician Co-Lead, Primary Health Care, Eastern Zone, Nova Scotia Health

About the Northside Urgent Treatment Centre:
The centre will operate Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hours are subject to change on holidays. Patients can book an appointment starting at 8:30 a.m. on November 1 by calling 902-794-8966 or going to the centre in person, where they will be assessed by a nurse to determine if they will be scheduled for an appointment, usually later that day or the next day.

Quick Facts:

  • as part of the CBRM Healthcare Redevelopment Project, a new health centre, laundry facility and long-term care home will be built in the Northside Business Park; early construction and site preparations are now underway
  • the Northside Urgent Treatment Centre will eventually be moved to the new health centre
  • the Northside General Hospital will remain open until the new health centre is operational

Additional Resources:

To learn more about the Northside Urgent Treatment Centre, visit: https://www.nshealth.ca/urgenttreatment

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Media Contact:

Marla MacInnis
Cell: 902-499-6428 Email: