N.S. MLA fears summer shutdown could mean early demise for Northside General
This summer’s emergency room closure at the Northside General has some residents worried.
Extended emergency room closures during the summer are not unusual at the Northside General.
But this year, when the Nova Scotia Health Authority took out an ad in the weekend newspaper advising people about it, some residents say they got an uneasy feeling.
Flo Gwinn was enjoying a hot summer afternoon with one of her daughters Tuesday.
But with the ER closed, she's worried about another daughter.
“She has breathing problems,” Gwinn said. “Her heart is not all that good. We found out she has Cushing's disease, and with the heart and the breathing and everything, I'm scared for her.”
The Nova Scotia government plans to close the hospital and the one in New Waterford, but the MLA for the Northside-Westmount fears that the planned closure of the hospital could come sooner than expected.
“My fear this year is that it's not going to reopen,” says Northside-Westmount Progressive Conservative MLA Eddie Orrell.
Orrell, who is also the Progessive Conservative health critic, says that concern comes after the Nova Scotia government's recent announcement that it will one day shutter the Northside General and New Waterford hospitals.
“Now that they've come in and told us they are going to close it, my fear is that this is just a precursor to it,” Orrell said. “And they're going to realize once they get it closed, that it's just as easy to keep it closed.”
A Nova Scotia Health Authority spokesperson reaffirmed that the Northside General emergency room will reopen at 8 a.m. on Sept. 4.
“I have a hard time believing everything they tell me now,” Orrell said. “Randy Delorey, the health minister, told me in Question Period that the Northside General emergency room wasn't going to close. That the hospital itself wasn't going to close.”
This week, emergency rooms at seven Nova Scotia hospitals are closed. With Northside and New Waterford closed, there is only ER open on Cape Breton Island.
"It's pretty scary,” said Gwinn.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.