Hospi­tal emer­gency de­part­ments close more of­ten

Truro Daily News - - NOVA SCOTIA -

Nova Sco­tia hos­pi­tals’ emer­gency de­part­ments were only open a to­tal of 96 per cent of the time in fis­cal 2017-18, con­tin­u­ing a neg­a­tive trend seen in re­cent years.

The Health Depart­ment said Thurs­day most clo­sures were in smaller, ru­ral ar­eas, and about half the province’s 38 ERS weren’t af­fected at all.

The clo­sures have been slowly in­creas­ing for sev­eral years - ERS were open 98.3 per cent of the time in 2015-16, and 96.7 per cent in 2016-17.

In to­tal, emer­gency rooms were closed a to­tal of 30,493.5 hours, while the re­port says there are 312,763 sched­uled open hours an­nu­ally for the province’s emer­gency de­part­ments.

The re­port says as of March 31 of this year, 20 emer­gency de­part­ments were open for 100 per cent of their sched­uled hours, while 33 were open at least 90 per cent of the time they were sup­posed to be.

Tem­po­rary clo­sures were most acute in the north­ern part of the province, with 5,882 hours of clo­sures, and the zone cov­er­ing the eastern main­land and all of Cape Bre­ton, which reg­is­tered 4,238 clo­sure hours.

North Cum­ber­land Memo­rial Hospi­tal in Pug­wash had the most hours of clo­sure in the north with 2,212, while the Glace Bay Health Fa­cil­ity had the most hours of clo­sure in the eastern zone with 1,835.

“The ma­jor­ity of tem­po­rary clo­sures oc­cur in smaller, ru­ral emer­gency de­part­ments,” the re­port says.

Other hospi­tal ERS with no­table rates of clo­sure in­cluded All Saints Springhill Hospi­tal with 1,530 hours and the Strait Rich­mond Hospi­tal with 828 hours. The Rose­way Hospi­tal in Shel­burne saw 789 hours of clo­sure.

The cen­tral province, in­clud­ing the Hal­i­fax area, had the low­est num­ber of over­all emer­gency depart­ment clo­sures with 691 hours.

The bulk of that to­tal was split between two ru­ral hos­pi­tals - Musquodobo­it Val­ley Memo­rial Hospi­tal with 298 hours and Eastern Shore Memo­rial Hospi­tal with 227 hours.

The re­port says the clo­sure hours at Musquodobo­it Val­ley Memo­rial were in­ten­tional for “bal­ance in physi­cian schedul­ing between pri­mary and emer­gency care,” while there were eight clo­sures at Eastern Shore Memo­rial in May and July due to “an un­ex­pected de­crease in physi­cian re­sources.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.