Guysborough Memorial Hospital reducing ED operating hours temporarily

Nova Scotia Health Authority wishes to advise the public the operating hours of the emergency department (ED) at the Guysborough Memorial Hospital will be reduced temporarily effective Thursday, July 9. Due to a shortage of physician coverage, the ED will now operate daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Two physicians will continue to provide 24-hour coverage for the inpatient medical unit, the long-term care facility, and manage their family practices.

“It is unfortunate that this action has to be taken,” said Madonna MacDonald, Vice-President, Operations, Eastern Zone. “However, we were advised on Friday the physicians working in the ED have decided they can no longer continue to provide 24-hour coverage. We understand their decision and appreciate the commitment they had made to keep the ED operating 24 hours daily while physician recruitment efforts were ongoing.”

For some time, NSHA has been working to recruit both locum and permanent physicians to Guysborough Memorial Hospital. Additionally, the Guysborough Memorial Hospital Foundation has also been directly involved in recruitment efforts along with support from the Municipality of the District of Guysborough. Unfortunately, these efforts have yet to be successful.

“We want to assure the residents of the area we are making best efforts to recruit physicians to Guysborough,” said MacDonald. “We recognize the importance of having a 24-hour ED operating in that area and we will be doing everything we can to get the ED back to full operation as soon as possible.”

MacDonald also stated NSHA has been working on a sustainable, long-term plan for the delivery of primary, community and emergency care for the communities of Canso and Guysborough. While this work was slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitment to have stable, reliable health care services for these communities remains. This work will also include reaching out to community stakeholders and the residents of the area as this work unfolds.

Representatives of NSHA will meet with the Municipality of the District of Guysborough council on Wednesday to discuss the recruitment efforts.
  
Those experiencing a medical emergency should always call 911. For non-emergency health advice from a registered nurse, please call 811. The provincial Mental Health Crisis Line also operates 24/7 at 1-888-429-8167.

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Provincial media line: 1-844-483-3344
NSHAmedia@nshealth.ca