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New primary care clinic coming to Amherst

By Joe Thomson Jul 19, 2023 | 12:22 PM

Hush Naidoo Jade Photography / Unsplash

Nova Scotia is continuing to try and solve the ongoing healthcare crisis facing the province.

Today, they announced a new primary care clinic opening in Amherst. It will feature two nurse practitioners who have already been working in the community but are being relocated to the new clinic, as well as a new family practice nurse and a family doctor who will be starting next month.

Amherst is a community all-to-familiar with the tragic impacts of the healthcare strain. 37-year-old Allison Holtoff died on New Years Eve last year after waiting for hours in an ER in Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.

Cumberland MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin says that the new clinic is just one of many steps the province needs to take to ensure incidents like this don’t happen again.

“We need to be looking at improving Primary Health Care [and] getting more family physicians to reduce the burden on our emergency rooms. So that when someone like our dear Alisson Holtoff goes to the emergency department with an emergency, they can be seen efficiently based on their need,” said Smith-McCrossin.

She said that it’s great to see the province investing in new healthcare infrastructure, but that what’s ultimately needed most is more staff to treat patients within that infrastructure.

“It’s kind of like adding new offices, but not necessarily all new practitioners,” said Smith-McCrossin.

To bring new doctors to Nova scotia, Smith-McCrossin thinks the provincial government should hire a recruitment firm, dedicated to bringing physicians to the province. In January, she put forward an action plan to do just that, but it hasn’t materialized yet.

“They [recruiters] get paid based on results. This is what they do, and it works,” said Smith-McCrossin.

The new clinic in Amherst is located on Prince Arthur Street. It’s part of the government’s recent announcement that it is spending $17 million to build and strengthen 60 new clinics across the province.


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