Dr. John Ross’s much-anticipated report on emergency care recommends some smaller Nova Scotia hospitals change the way they operate their emergency rooms.
The report, released yesterday, says 12 hospitals in the province should move from offering 24-7 emergency rooms to a collaborative assessment model.
Ross says many patients go to the ER or outpatients by default, rather than seeing a primary care provider like a family doctor. This frustrates doctors and patients alike, contributing to longer wait times and taking up ER physicians’ time.
The collaborative model brings a team of doctors, nurses and other health providers under one roof to deal with minor injuries or disease. The model Ross recommends would also close some emergency rooms like Twin Oaks Hospital in Musquodoboit Harbour and Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital — both within 70 kilometers of a 24-7 ER at the Dartmouth General Hospital.
In the 2009 election, the NDP promised to keep the province’s rural ERs open.