By Emily Sawchyn
Emergency room closures continue to plague the three rural Eastern Shore hospitals, Twin Oaks Memorial, (Musquodoboit Harbour), Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital (Sheet Harbour) and Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital (Middle Musquodoboit)
The last time the Cooperator covered this problem, the Nova Scotia Health Authority posted each closure as a separate notice in the “news” section on its website. By scrolling back through the news items, you could easily put together how many times each ER had been closed, and how many hours.
But NSHA no longer keeps past closures on its “news” site, only the most current, making it impossible to easily ascertain whether closures are getting better or worse.
Carla Adams, Senior Advisor, Media Relations, Public Engagement & Communications at NSHA, told the Cooperator that NSHA had indeed deleted previous closure notices. She said, “We had feedback that the format meant people had to scroll through a number of irrelevant pieces of content to find any potential closure info about their local ED/CEC.” Instead, web visitors are now directed to a special “temporary closures page” that has information about the last day or two, and any planned closures going forward, but no information about previous closures. Adams said the new format allowed them to provide links to this temporary closures page in a way that had not been possible under the old format.
In response to a request, NSHA provided this table showing the number of unplanned ER closures in total hours at the three hospitals over the last four months. This table does not, however, make it possible to determine when these outages occurred, or how long any particular outage might have been. The table shows that outages have increased dramatically at Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital, while holding fairly steady at the other two hospitals (pending results from the end of November.) The Cooperator will be exploring solutions to these unplanned ER closures in a coming issue.
|Month of Closure Date
||Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital
||Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital
||Twin Oaks Memorial Hospital