25 Jun Reshaping and Revitalizing Cape Breton’s Health System
Your Liberal government knows health care needs are changing, and that we need to change how we do things. We’ve heard from Cape Bretoners that access to health care is their number one concern. People want better access to primary health care and continuing care, including long-term care when needed.
We believe the best way to provide higher quality service and better access is to look at the needs of the community and offer services where they make the most sense.
This is why we’re announcing plans to reshape and revitalize Cape Breton’s health system to better connect patients and their families to the care they need.
Premier Stephen McNeil and Nova Scotia Health Authority president and CEO Janet Knox launched the CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Plan today in Sydney.
“We have an opportunity to reshape the health-care delivery model in these communities to reflect the reality of what patients need today,” said Premier McNeil. “From greater access to family practices to expanded emergency care, Cape Bretoners will have a revitalized system they can rely on now, and for years to come.”
The CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Plan includes:
• expanding the emergency department at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney
• doubling the size of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Cancer Centre
• renovating and revitalizing the Glace Bay Hospital emergency department
• building new, modern community health centres and new long-term care facilities, in North Sydney and New Waterford, to replace the New Waterford Consolidated and Northside General hospitals
• launching a Community-Based Paramedic Program in CBRM where paramedics will do home visits and follow-up visits after hospital discharge – reducing trips to the emergency department
• building a new laundry centre in North Sydney to replace aging equipment and to continue to serve health-care facilities in CBRM
The emergency department expansions and renovations will allow the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and the Glace Bay Hospital to better meet the demands of the communities. Both emergency departments are currently seeing more patients than they were designed for.
Surgeries and emergency services will gradually move from New Waterford Consolidated and Northside General to Glace Bay and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Hospital beds will also be moved to the Glace Bay Hospital, Cape Breton Regional Hospital and/or Harbourview, a long-term care and rehabilitation facility in Sydney Mines.
The New Waterford Consolidated and Northside General hospitals have exceeded their lifespan and cannot be renovated. That is why new, modern community health centres and new long-term care facilities will be built in both New Waterford and North Sydney.
The community health centres will create space for collaborative family practice teams to deliver primary health care in the community. They will also offer many of the same services offered now, like day clinics, blood collection and X-rays, and create space for community-based services like mental health and addictions.
The new long-term care facilities will have an estimated 48 beds each. This will add about 50 new beds to the entire system.
Planning will begin right away and is expected to take between nine to 12 months. Timelines for construction and changes in services will be determined through this planning process.
“We want to see this project move forward as quickly as possible,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “We are committed to improving health care for Nova Scotians and for the people of Cape Breton.”