Important updates on emergency services over long weekend

All four Nova Scotia Health zones continue to face significant patient capacity and staffing challenges entering the long weekend. This is affecting our ability to provide timely care.

Nova Scotia Health and Emergency Health Services (EHS) collaborate closely on improving access and flow of patients throughout the system, and that collaboration will continue over the long weekend.

Still, we anticipate patients will continue to experience longer than usual waits for care in emergency departments and for admission from emergency departments into hospital beds.

As a result of these issues, a timely transfer of care at facilities across Nova Scotia by EHS crews may not always be possible, leading to significant ambulance offload delays in some cases.

These challenges at facilities across the province will have a direct impact on ambulance response times, and as a result paramedic crews may take longer to arrive on scene in response to 911 calls.

Nova Scotia Health wants to remind those experiencing an emergency to not hesitate to visit the nearest emergency department. Emergency departments at regional hospitals and the QEII Health Sciences Centre are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Some smaller sites experience periodic closures. Any such closures are noted here:

  • The overall emergency system is never closed. This is due to access to Emergency Health Services (for example, 911), telemedicine, and transfers to other facilities across the province.
  • Anyone with urgent medical needs should call 911.
  • If your health concern is not urgent, we request you contact a family doctor or go to a walk-in clinic.
  • For general health advice and information call 811, a service offered 24/7 by experienced registered nurses.
  • The Mental Health and Addictions Provincial Crisis Line can also be reached 24/7 by calling 1-888-429-8167.

Nova Scotia Health apologizes for the increased wait times in emergency departments and the impacts of these high demands for services on other patients and our health care providers.

We know these past two years have been very difficult for everyone and we continue to ask a lot of our staff and physicians. We are aware of too many situations where our staff have been subjected to abusive behaviour and language, including personal threats. This is not acceptable and is adding to our staffing recruitment and retention challenges.

Please be kind and know we are here to help.

Source: Release

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