Urgent health-care centre opening in North Sydney, N.S.
Residents living in and around North Sydney, N.S. will soon have a new option to get urgent health-care treatment close to home.
During a health-care announcement on Monday, Premier Tim Houston said beginning Nov. 1, the Northside Urgent Treatment Centre – located in the Northside General Hospital in North Sydney – will started providing care for those with unexpected, non-life-threatening health concerns that require same - or next-day treatment.
In a news release from the province, it says some examples include simple fractures, sprains, earaches, minor cuts and mild mental health support.
"We know we need to do things differently and are excited about rolling out this new model of care," said Duane Jessome, manager at Northside Urgent Treatment Centre. "We believe the Northside Urgent Treatment Centre will provide much-needed access to non-emergency care to Northside residents and those in nearby communities, which is welcome news to our staff, physicians and patients."
The new centre will be available to people with or without a family doctor or nurse practitioner.
Dr. Joan Salah, physician co-lead for the Eastern zone, describes the new centre as a middle ground between a family doctor's office and the emergency room.
"I would encourage people, if they can still get into their family doctor's office to go there. That's the most appropriate place," said Salah. "But in the instance... that you can't access your family doctor, then this would be a place that you could come and be seen within a few days."
"This is a new way of offering care to Nova Scotians and the goal is to improve access to healthcare when and where people need it," Houston said Monday at the centre. "We know change is needed in our healthcare system, and we have to find new and better ways to provide care. This urgent treatment centre moves us in the right direction."
According to health officials, the centre will differ from an emergency department in several ways, which include:
- the care provided is for non-life-threatening injuries and illness;
- ambulances do not bring patients to the centre; and
- patients must make an appointment (usually, either same-day or next-day).
Patients requiring emergency care should continue to call 911.
"Emergency rooms need some support. Nova Scotians need to have the access points and this is exactly the perfect access point for many types of ailments," said Houston. "It's an urgent fix. It's a needed fix right now. And then, the plan is to continue this type of model in this community, even at another location."
Nova Scotia Health will be hosting a public education session about the new centre at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Emera Centre Northside.
Due to COVID-19 gathering limits, registration is required. Registration information for the session will be available from Nova Scotia Health soon.
HOURS OF OPERATION FOR NEW CENTRE:
- Mondays, Tuesday and Thursdays: Open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Saturdays" Open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Patients can begin booking appointments at the centre on Nov. 1 by calling 902-794-8966 or by going to the centre in-person.