By David J. Shuman
The Cooperator has gotten an early look at the data on emergency room closures for HRM’s three rural hospitals, managed by the Eastern Shore Musquodoboit Community Health Board (ESMCHB).
The data cover the last fiscal year (from April 2020 to March 2021), and the start of the current fiscal year (April and May of 2021).
ESMCHB hospitals were closed for 5,080.5 hours in the last fiscal year. This total was slightly better than 2019’s 5,909 hours but still higher than 2018’s 4,360.3 hours. However, numbers for the start of the new fiscal year are trending worse than previous years.
Twin Oaks had 1063 hours of closure during the past fiscal year (up from 567 in the previous year), Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital had 1932.5 hours of closure (down from 2089), and Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital had 2085 – about two-thirds of last year’s 3252.
Total closures nearly doubled at Twin Oaks in the last fiscal year but decreased moderately at both Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital and Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital. The closure rate for 2020 at MVMH was 44 per cent, at ESMH, 23.74 per cent, and at Twin Oaks, 12.10 per cent.
The data for the first two months of this fiscal year (April and May) shows that ESMH is on track to strongly out-pace previous years at 1068 hours, already reaching more than half of the previous year. ESMH and Twin Oaks are at levels consistent with pre-COVID closures at 396.5 hours and 82.6 hours respectively.
The Cooperator will be publishing additional analyses of these emergency room closure numbers in the July issue of the paper.