Another ER short of doctors
BY DARRELL COLE
PARRSBORO â€“ Another Cumberland County hospital is being forced to close its emergency department because of a physician shortage.
The South Cumberland Community Care Centre in Parrsboro will be closing its ER twice in July, with the first closure set for July 7, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. A 24-hour closure will follow July 10.
The closures are necessary because there is no physician to provide the necessary medical coverage during those periods. One physician has departed the community and changes have led to gaps in the ER schedule.
Cumberland Health Authority CEO Bruce Quigley reminded the public that whenever someone is experiencing a medical emergency, they should always call 911.
â€œNova Scotia has an excellent emergency response system that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide immediate medical assistance,” said Quigley.
To help accommodate non-emergency health needs, the Cumberland South Rural Practice Network offices in the Parrsboro Professional Centre will be making additional appointments available on days when the emergency department is closed. Anyone requiring more immediate medical care should call the clinic at 254-3760.
Quigley said the health authority is continuing to search for locum (part-time) doctors to provide coverage and has embarked on a nationwide recruitment campaign.
â€œThe collaborative practice between doctors and nurse practitioners is providing excellent care to the communities in Cumberland South and we are confident that another physician will be joining the team in the very near future,â€? he said.
Additional closures will be required in the upcoming weeks and more information will be made available in advance of any service disruptions. If anyone is unclear on a proper course of action when there is a closure, contact may be made with the hospital at 254-2540.
North Cumberland Memorial Hospital in Pugwash has almost weekly closures to its ER because of a physician shortage there.