13 Aug Media Release: North Shore Committee to hold info picket outside DHA’s offices

Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Community Activists to Travel to Truro
Message: Save our Communities! Keep the ER Open!

Tatamagouche, NS – Members and supporters of the North Shore Citizens’ Health Committee, a local committee of the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network, will travel to Truro to protest the continued closures of the ER at Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital.  Despite a petition, several public meetings and an information picket, the closures at LFMH are continuing.  Community members will also be talking about one of their proposed solutions to the problem which is to bring a Nurse Practitioner to the North Shore region to operate a walk-in clinic.

“Despite continued assurances from the Colchester East Hants Health Authority, the ER closures at Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital are continuing,” says Judy Davis, Spokesperson for the North Shore committee.  “The communities along the North Shore are reeling from these closures and it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously harmed.”

The committee has been urging the DHA to bring a nurse practitioner to the region to operate a walk-in clinic.  This would lift some of the pressure on the ER and on local physicians, allowing them to spend more time in the ER.

“The DHA promised they would ‘seriously consider’ bringing a nurse practitioner to the region, but we haven’t heard anything since,” says Davis.  “We have also called on the DHA to look at alternative payment programs for the local physicians to ensure they are fairly compensated for time they spend keeping the ER open.”

While the situation in Tatamagouche is dire, other communities around Nova Scotia are also experiencing major ER closures.

“Other communities like Pugwash, Digby, Lunenburg, Shelburne and Glace Bay, among others, are experiencing the same problem with constant ER closures due to lack of physicians,” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network.  “The provincial government needs to sit down with stakeholders and develop a detailed health human resources strategy to find innovative solutions to this problem.”

– 30 –

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
W – (902) 406-9422
C – (902) 478-0239

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.