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60 new and strengthened health clinics coming to Nova Scotia

By Caitlin Snow May 10, 2023 | 12:11 PM

Health Minister Michelle Thompson (File Photo)

A $17 million investment will bring 60 new and strengthened clinics to Nova Scotia.

“New and strengthened clinics will mean patients who previously would have to use an emergency department or wait to see a healthcare professional at an existing location will be able to get better care, faster than ever before,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “This is just one of a series of efforts we are making to improve primary care for Nova Scotians.”

The announcement comes as the Government works to address the ongoing healthcare issues Nova Scotians are having to deal with. Many people are still without a family doctor, and wait times at clinics and hospitals continue to climb.

“Health care is one of the main issues we’re facing in our province and whether you’re attached to a primary care provider or not, access has been a challenge for many people,” said Thompson.

The locations will be spread out across the province and will include 12 in northern, 17 in eastern, 14 in central and 17 in western. Strengthening a clinic or team refers to increased staffing, funding and/or renovations.

“This is really an investment in the infrastructure, and we know we need to spend the money, we know that primary care is a priority, we know that it’s going to prevent hospitalization, it’s going to prevent illnesses from progressing. We’re committed to making an ongoing investment in Primary Health Care,” said Thompson.

Erin Sarrazin has been the only nurse practitioner serving the Eastern Passage community for a handful of years now. she was at the announcement and spoke about what it means to her and her community to have this investment from the government.

“The key to all primary care is collaboration, right? So if you don’t have anyone to collaborate with, it’s a lot on one person,” said Sarrazin.

Erin Sarrazin speaking at the healthcare announcement on May 10.

Eastern Passage will be receiving a new clinic for the Eastern Passage Family Practice to operate out of, as well as a second nurse practitioner. Sarrazin says that her administrative assistant has been instrumental in helping her keep up with the day-to-day of running a clinic, but that having a second person to deal with patients and offer care to the community will be a gamechanger.

“It’s nice to have a colleague and it’s really exciting that [we’re] two nurse practitioners. We look forward to the recruitment of a physician eventually, but  as they say, strength in numbers and two NPs in our practice, what more can you ask for?” said Sarrazin.

The project includes:

-6 new primary care clinics

-10 clinics will be enhanced (Nova Scotia Health’s primary care clinics provide care to people on the Need a Family Practice Registry)

-8 new collaborative family practice teams

-1 new urgent treatment centre

Announcements will be made in the coming weeks in communities where clinics will open or expand. There are currently 95 collaborative family practice teams and 15 primary care clinics across the province. It’s part of Nova Scotia’s Action for Health plan which recently added 26 new primary care clinics in pharmacies across the province.

More information can be found here.


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