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Middleton mayor urgently calling on Premier for change after patient dies in ER

By Caitlin Snow Jun 21, 2023 | 1:25 PM

KOMUnews / CC

The mayor of a town in the valley is sounding the alarm on healthcare staffing shortages, after a patient died in its local ER.

In a letter to Premier Tim Houston, asking for change, Sylvester Atkinson says the patient went into cardiac arrest at Soldier’s Memorial Hospital in Middleton, the evening of June 15.

The local Fire Department was called because no doctors were available, with the closest one, 30 minutes away in Kentville. The firefighters helped EHS with chest compressions until the doctor arrived, who then announced the patient’s death.

Mayor Atkinson says the fact the fire department had to respond is frightening and wrong on so many levels.

Meanwhile, Liberal Leader Zach Churchill says this incident is a dangerous of sign how healthcare continues to spin out of control under Premier Houston’s leadership.

“This is devastating news for the family, and for the Valley, as Middleton and surrounding communities are all impacted by this tragic event,” said Opposition Leader Zach Churchill. “When a volunteer municipal service has to be called to provide emergency medical care in a provincially run hospital, that’s a dangerous sign of how bad healthcare is becoming under the Houston government. The Premier and the Minister of Health need to step up for Soldiers Memorial and other hospitals in the province to reverse the pending collapse of our entire Emergency healthcare system.”

Annapolis MLA Carmen Kerr says ER closures at Soldier’s Memorial have been an ongoing issue for two years, but no one seems to be listening.

“This was our worst fear,” said Kerr. “The community has been pressing for action for far too long with no tangible results. Enough is enough, we need action now.”

This comes after two other deaths in a Nova Scotia ER earlier this year, after the patients waited for more than 7 hours.

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