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Tories promise to spend millions on the creation of medical centre for veterans
HALIFAX -- Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie is promising to spend $1.75 million a year on a unique medical centre for veterans that would be led by former military members.
Baillie says the clinic would be set up in the Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial Building in Halifax and provide physical and mental health care on a 24-hour basis.
The facility would be staffed by veterans and others, as well as so-called veteran navigators who would meet patients and help identify the kind of care they need.
Veteran Rollie Lawless says he knows of many veterans with complex medical needs like himself who stay in their homes and avoid getting medical care because of apprehensions about hospital ERs.
He says the centre would also include quiet areas for veterans, who may be in crisis, to talk to their peers.
Lawless, who was released from the military in 2002, says the centre would provide a healthier alternative to many vets with post-traumatic stress disorder, who can be triggered by the loud sounds and busy pace at conventional emergency rooms.
"The emergency rooms present every trigger that could possibly trigger a person with an operational stress injury, whether it's screaming children, whether it's bloody hands, bloody feet, it's there," he said. "Why would they go? If I'm going in to get my wrist looked at the last thing I want is for my head to be injured."