Patients concerned South Shore heart clinic won't reopen
BRIDGEWATER, N.S. -- The future of a heart clinic on Nova Scotia's South Shore is doubt tonight and people who rely on its services are growing increasingly concerned.
It's closed for now and some are worried if it doesn't reopen they'll have to travel to Halifax for cardiac care.
Rob Frampton is a double-heart attack survivor.
He says rehabilitation at Bridgewater's heart clinic was a "game changer" in his recovery.
"We went once a week, got information, and seen other people and did exercise like on treadmills," said Frampton, who is from North Brookfield.
Frampton and many who utilize its services were frustrated to learn about the clinic's temporary closure.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) says it's because of a recent vacancy and they're working to fill the nurse practitioner position.
The news doesn't sit well with patients who say they weren't told about the interruption.
"I feel as though rural Nova Scotia is kinda getting the short end of the stick here," said Nicole Nickerson of Middle Lahave, N.S.
The 36-year-old mother of two is also a double heart-attack survivor.
She advocates for heart health and awareness in the area.
Nickerson is worried about where people will go to seek proper treatment with the clinic's doors shut for now.
"We have a high rate of heart incidents, it's very well-used. And it's a huge asset to so many people," Nickerson said.
The NSHA says patients will continue to receive treatment from their primary care provider at their family practice or by their internal medicine specialist.
The authority also plans to work with patients on their follow-up plan.
But people who use the services say it just won't be the same hands-on approach.
"A lot of people on the South Shore don't have a family doctor, so this clinic was a way for them to get information," Frampton said. "It's really hard to go to a walk-in clinic and try to explain your cardiac background and try to have them understand your needs."
The clinic has been treating patients since 2006. There's no word on when it's expected to re-open.