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Public Health warns of long ER waits, ambulance delays this long weekend

By Skye Bryden-Blom Jul 29, 2022 | 2:25 PM

(SOURCE: Pixabay)

Public Health is warning of long waits at emergency rooms and a slow response from ambulances in Nova Scotia ahead of the long weekend.

It has issued a news release announcing all four health zones are continuing to face “significant patient capacity and staffing challenges.”

Nova Scotia Health expects patients will continue to experience longer than usual wait times at ERs along with slow transfers to hospital beds.

It warns these issues could also lead to lengthy ambulance offload delays.

“These challenges at facilities across the province will have a direct impact on ambulance response times, and as a result paramedic crews may take longer to arrive on scene in response to 911 calls,” the news release says.

Kevin MacMullin, the business manager of the union that represents paramedics in Nova Scotia, tells our newsroom that long weekends can be busy.

“There are more people out on the roads so there might be more motor vehicle accidents,” MacMullin says. ” People may fall because they’ve been out and it may be because they’ve been partying a little bit too much and may have slipped. And then there is always COVID and all kinds of things that can impact someone’s health. Something that they’ve eaten that they’re not used to eating may affect their digestive system and it may require some aid at the hospital.”

However, Nova Scotia Health reminds you not to hesitate if you need to head to the hospital for an emergency. ERs at regional hospitals and the QEII Health Sciences Centre are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Nova Scotia Health apologizes for the increased wait times in emergency departments and the impacts of these high demands for services on other patients and our health care providers,” the news release says.

Anyone with urgent medical needs should call 911.

Nova Scotia Health is also reminding hospital visitors to be kind.

“We know these past two years have been very difficult for everyone and we continue to ask a lot of our staff and physicians,” the news release says. “We are aware of too many situations where our staff have been subjected to abusive behaviour and language, including personal threats. This is not acceptable and is adding to our staffing recruitment and retention challenges.”


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