No walk-in com­po­nent for new med­i­cal clinic

Shel­burne mayor says this doesn’t ad­dress is­sue of peo­ple with­out fam­ily doc­tors

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - KATHY JOHN­SON THECOASTGUARD.CA

While a new $3-mil­lion col­lab­o­ra­tive health cen­tre un­der con­struc­tion ad­ja­cent to Rose­way Hos­pi­tal is on tar­get for com­ple­tion by the fall, since there will be no walk-in com­po­nent to the op­er­a­tions it doesn’t ap­pear it is go­ing to ad­dress the is­sue of peo­ple with­out a fam­ily doc­tor, said Shel­burne Mayor Karen Mat­tatall.

“No walk-in com­po­nent, that’s a ma­jor con­cern,” said Mayor Mat­tatall in an in­ter­view.

“Any­one with­out a doc­tor is still not go­ing to have a doc­tor,” she said, not­ing in re­cent me­dia cov­er­age the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity (NSHA) sug­gested ER cov­er­age at Rose­way Hos­pi­tal, once the clinic was built, would be done by locums. “That’s very con­cern­ing. If the NSHA can’t find enough doc­tors to run the ER now what’s go­ing to hap­pen if its to­tally de­pen­dant on locums?”

As it is now, staffing for the new col­lab­o­ra­tive health cen­tre – con­sist­ing of four fam­ily physi­cians, two nurse prac­ti­tion­ers, two fam­ily prac­tice nurses and cler­i­cal sup­port – is al­ready in place and op­er­at­ing in tem­po­rary space at the Rose­way Hos­pi­tal. The col­lab­o­ra­tive fam­ily prac­tice team will re-lo­cate to the new build­ing when con­struc­tion is com­pleted, said Fraser Mooney, NSHA Pub­lic En­gage­ment and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions spokesper­son for Digby, Shel­burne and Yarmouth Coun­ties.

“While staffing is cur­rently in place, we will still be look­ing to ex­pand the team as time goes on and add other providers to best serve the needs of their pa­tients,” said Mooney.

“We rec­og­nize there are peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who cur­rently do not have a pri­mary provider. Strength­en­ing and sup­port­ing the fam­ily prac­tice team is im­por­tant to re­cruit and re­tain all health pro­fes­sion­als, which will lead to more op­por­tu­nity for ac­cess to pri­mary care,” he said. “So, the health cen­tre will not be a walk-in clinic, but we ex­pect the fam­ily prac­tice team will be able to take on new pa­tients as time goes on.”

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Rose­way Hos­pi­tal com­mu­nity up­date news­let­ter, the Shel­burne fam­ily prac­tice team is ac­cept­ing peo­ple who are preg­nant, or who are 6 years-old or younger, as new pa­tients. “As the fam­ily prac­tice team con­tin­ues to grow, they ex­pect to be able to in- crease the num­ber of new pa­tients they will be able to ac­cept in the fu­ture,” states the up­date.

Mayor Mat­tatall noted some ar­eas that have built col­lab­o­rate care cen­tres have not been suc­cess­ful in re­cruit­ing doc­tors so it re­mains to be seen what will hap­pen here she said, call­ing it a field of dreams: “Build it and they will come.”

In the mean­time, any­one with­out a fam­ily doc­tor or nurse prac­ti­tioner are urged to reg­is­ter with the need a fam­ily prac­tice pro­vin­cial registry by call­ing 811 or vis­it­ing the web­site needafam­i­lyprac­tice.nshealth.ca

Also, as part of a se­ries of pub­lic meet­ings be­ing held across Nova Sco­tia, the NSHA will be host­ing a com­mu­nity con­ver­sa­tion in Shel­burne on Thurs­day, June 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Shel­burne Com­mu­nity Cen­tre on King Street to talk about col­lab­o­ra­tive fam­ily prac­tice teams.

“We would like to share more about col­lab­o­ra­tive fam­ily prac­tice teams, hear your thoughts, and learn what we need to know to make these teams a suc­cess in Shel­burne and across Nova Sco­tia,” states the NSHA news­let­ter.

“If they’re hav­ing a meet­ing and are go­ing to al­low the pub­lic and the med­i­cal staff to speak freely and ex­press con­cerns that’s one thing. If it’s go­ing to be a meet­ing that is con­trolled and only al­lowed to speak about what the NSHA wants us to speak out about I’m not sure of the value,” said Mayor Mat­tatall.

Space is lim­ited for the com­mu­nity con­ver­sa­tion, says the NSHA. Peo­ple can re­serve a spot by reg­is­ter­ing at 1-833-682-5988 or email reg­is­ter@nshealth.ca In­put is also be­ing ac­cepted on­line. For more in­for­ma­tion visit: talk­a­bout­fam­i­lyprac­ticeteams.ca.

KATHY JOHN­SON

Con­struc­tion of a new $3 mil­lion col­lab­o­ra­tive health cen­tre is still un­der­way.

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