I hope 2013 is getting off to a great start and that you are managing to keep warm.
A few weeks ago I was pleased to showcase Nova Scotia's innovative collaborative emergency centres to officials from P.E.I. Ministers Doug Currie, Health, and Wesley Sheridan, Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs, toured the collaborative emergency centres (CECs) in Parrsboro and Springhill to learn how the model is helping residents get access to the care they need sooner. The ministers were interested to learn about the potential that this innovative health care model holds for the province of P.E.I.
The CEC model was created in 2010 in Nova Scotia to respond to emergency room closures that plagued the health system over the previous decade. The goal of CECs is to keep emergency rooms open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also ensure patients have access to same-day or next-day appointments with physicians. In the past, some patients waited up to six weeks to see a doctor.
In July, 2011 Nova Scotia opened its first collaborative emergency centre in Parrsboro. Since then, we have opened CECs in Springhill and Tatamagouche, Pugwash, Annapolis Royal and Musqudoboit Harbour.
Our CEC model has also attracted interest from officials in Saskatchewan who traveled to Nova Scotia last summer to learn more. At the Premier's Conference last summer, all Canadian premiers cited CECs as one of two examples of important health innovation in Canada.
There is still more work to be done to ensure that emergency rooms stay open 24 hours a day in every community across the province but I think we can be very proud of the model we've adopted and be hopeful of the possibilities it holds for health care delivery in Nova Scotia. For more information on CECs and the province's Better Care Sooner plan, visit www.gov.ns.ca/health/bettercaresooner .
Please feel free contact my office with any question or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 864-0396 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org .