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Opening of emergency care center in Cape Breton to relieve pressure from ERs

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A new health care center to treat non-life-threatening problems is set to open next week in North Sydney and is expected to ease some of the pressure created by the lack of family doctors and closed emergency departments in hospitals Cape Breton.

The Northside Emergency Treatment Center is aimed at patients who need treatment the same day or the next day for issues such as fractures, sprains, earaches and minor incisions. It will also provide mental health support.

The center will open Nov. 1 at the former emergency department at Northside General Hospital.

“We have heard the prayers”

“We have heard the prayers of Nova Scotians who have said that we should be able to access care where we need it, when we need it,” Prime Minister Tim Houston said after touring the facility on Monday.

The idea for the center came from staff at Northside Hospital, he said, but people across the province are likely to benefit, where space and staff make it possible.

“This is a very significant day, I mean not only for healthcare in the region, but healthcare in Nova Scotia, in terms of access to healthcare, because it could turn out to be a model for the whole province,” he said. Houston.

The Northside Emergency Department closed more than 18 months ago at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new treatment center will not provide emergency services, as it does not cover life-threatening situations and ambulances will not bring people to the facility.

People are asked to call 902-794-8966 first to make an appointment, or to show up, and a nurse will book an appointment for them that day or the next day. Those in need of urgent care should call 911 or go to an emergency room.

The center will have two family doctors, three registered nurses and a licensed practical nurse and will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 19:30 and on Saturdays from 9am: 30 to 16:30.

Northside General Hospital in North Sydney, NS, is seen in this photo. A new emergency treatment center will open next week at the hospital. (Tom Ayers / CBC)

Dr. Joan Salah, one of the two heads of family medicine in the eastern area, said the healthcare staff is excited about the new center.

“This one emergency department will not be the solution to the problem of access and overcrowding of the emergency department for the whole of Cape Breton Island, but we think it is a really good start,” said Salah, who worked at ER Northside. before closing. .

“It’s a big part of the puzzle and we hope it’s something that can be repeated elsewhere.”

Houston did not have the cost of opening the new center available to reporters Monday, but he said it would not matter.

Houston shares a laugh with Dr. Stephanie Langley, a local physician and one of the two heads of family medicine in the eastern Nova Scotia Health area. (Tom Ayers / CBC)

The former ER department and staff were already available.

The hospital is planned to be demolished and replaced with a new health center, laundry and long-term care home, which is under construction in the Northside Business Park.

The province says the emergency care center will be relocated to the new health center when it is ready.

Nova Scotia Health will host a public education session for the new center at 6pm on Thursday at Emera Center Northside. People shouldcontact Nova Scotia Health to sign up for that session.

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