28 Oct Committee calls for stories about ER closures in North Shore

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

North Shore Committee calls for story submissions

Tatamagouche, NS – The North Shore Citizens’ Health Committee is calling on members of the public throughout the North Shore region to submit stories about their experiences with ER closures in Tatamagouche.

“With the constant ER closures at Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital we know that the communities along the North Shore are suffering,” says Judy Davis, spokesperson for the committee.  “We want to start gathering these stories to compile a report demanding action.”

The committee decided to gather the stories to put a human face on the ER closure issue after hearing from Shelly, a mother just outside Tatamagouche, whose daughter needed urgent medical care.

Shelly’s daughter Hannah had gotten into some poison so Shelly called the Poison Control phone line and was told her daughter needed medical attention within 45 minutes.  Shelly didn’t have a vehicle at home at the time and the ER at Lillian Fraser was closed that day.  After tracking down a vehicle she rushed to the Colchester Regional Hospital and arrived well over an hour after her daughter had consumed the poison.  Shelly said that the time period would have been even longer, except that she had called her doctor earlier in the day to book an appointment on an unrelated issue and was told that the ER was closed at Lillian Fraser.  Had she not known the ER was closed, this would have added another 20 minutes to her trip to get her daughter necessary medical care as she would have travelled to Lillian Fraser first before heading to Truro.

Luckily for Shelly, and the entire North Shore community, Hannah did not consume enough poison to be in a serious medical condition and the hospital was able to deal with the issues promptly.  But Shelly’s ordeal highlights the need for 24/7 ER coverage in the North Shore region.

This report will be the continuation of a campaign to end the ER closures at Lillian Fraser.  To date the committee has organized a petition drive with almost 1000 signatures, held several public meetings and information pickets and has proposed real solutions like looking at physician compensation and opening a walk-in clinic staffed by a nurse practitioner.

“We will continue to pressure the DHA to take action to solve the ER closures and bring a nurse practitioner to the North Shore,” says Davis.

People can send their stories to judy.davis@ns.sympatico.ca or can call (902) 657-3371.

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For more information please contact:

Judy Davis
North Shore Citizens’ Health Committee
(902) 657-3371