Significant patient capacity and staffing challenges at hospitals this holiday

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

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.

Nova Scotia Health wants to remind those experiencing an emergency, they should 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 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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