01 May Media Release: North Shore committee responds to DHA

“Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Health Authorities response positive but urgent action needed, says committee

Tatamagouche, NS – The North Shore Citizens’ Health Committee is pleased with the response from the Colchester East Hants Health Authority regarding their petition demanding a nurse practitioner be brought to the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital in Tatamagouche.  Peter MacKinnon, CEO of the Health Authority, wrote in a letter to the committee that the Health Authority, “will seriously consider” the nurse practitioner proposal.

While pleased with the response, the committee believes urgent action is needed.

“We are pleased that the DHA is responding positively to our petition for a nurse practitioner,” says Judy Davis, media spokesperson for the committee.  “But while this is a good sign, we feel there needs to be urgent action to ensure health care services are delivered promptly in the North Shore and that the ER stays open.”

The letter from the DHA notes that a visiting physician has returned to the community starting April  21st.  However, the committee points out that this is often just for the summer months and the ER closures begin anew in the Fall.  The committee also feels the Department of Health needs to look at how rural physicians are compensated.

“By bringing a nurse practitioner to the community we could ease the strain on our existing physicians, allowing them to take on more patients, or spend more time in the ER,” says Davis.  “A nurse practitioner can see upwards of 80% of the cases a family physician can see and could operate a walk-in clinic.”

The committee is promising to continue its campaign to raise awareness among the general public about public sector solutions to the problems in our health care system.

“The struggle is far from over,” says Davis. “We won’t stop this campaign until a nurse practitioner has been brought to Lillian Fraser.”

The committee will plan an information picket in the near future to continue to put pressure on the DHA to hire a nurse practitioner.

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For more information please contact:

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

Kyle Buott
Provincial Coordinator
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network
(902) 406-9422

About the North Shore Citizens’ Health Committee:

The North Shore Citizens’ Health Committee was formed to find public sector solutions to the problems in the health care system. The group has set as two of its goals for this year, to end ER closures at Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital and to bring a Nurse Practitioner to the Tatamagouche community.  The Committee also strives to put an end to the privatization of our public health care system.  The Committee is part of the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network

About the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network:

Formed in 1996, the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network’s goal is to stop the privatization of the public health care system, ensure high levels of care, and create a forum for people and communities to discuss issues in health care.

The Network is a coalition of local health committees, community groups, organized labour, faith groups and individuals dedicated to protecting and advancing public health care to include services like pharmacare, dental care and long-term and home care.

The Network is political but non-partisan and receives no government funding.