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Press Release- Eastern Memorial Hospital Service Reductions

For Immediate Release
Municipality of the District of Guysborough Takes Action in Light of the NS Health Authority’s Decision to Cut Services at Eastern Memorial Hospital in Canso

May 10, 2019 (Guysborough, Nova Scotia) The Municipality of the District of Guysborough received official notification on Thursday, May 9th, 2019, that the NS Health Authority would be reducing hours at the Emergency Department at Eastern Memorial Hospital and eliminating in-patient beds until a nursing shortage can be resolved.  This official notification confirmed media rumours from Tuesday.
On Friday, May 10th at 1pm, the Council for the Municipality held an emergency Special Council Meeting.
“The Municipality will not stand by and watch the NS Health Authority and the Department of Health and Wellness cut back services at one of our hospitals without doing something tangible about it” states Warden Pitts “Today I want to thank our full Council for their unanimous support in putting forth a number of actions to help secure a permanent future for our hospitals!”
He continued “I want to call on the CEO of the NS Health Authority, Ms. Janet Knox, the Minister of Health and Wellness, the Honourable Randy Delorey, and our MLA, the Honourable Lloyd Hines to issue assurances about their collective commitment to the continued long term operation of Eastern Memorial Hospital”
The following courses of action were unanimously approved at the May 10th meeting:
    The Municipality will write a letter to the Minister of Health, Randy Delorey, with copies to the Premier and MLA Hines expressing the Municipality’s utmost dissatisfaction with the NS Health Authority’s decision to reduce emergency room and in-patient services at Eastern Memorial Hospital in Canso; and asking for the Provincial Government’s guarantee that this decision will not be made permanent as ultimately the final authority rests with the Province.

    The Municipality will write a letter to Ms. Janet Knox, CEO of the NS Health Authority, with copies to the Minister, MLA, and Premier expressing the Municipality’s dissatisfaction with the recent decision to cut emergency room and in-patient services at Eastern Memorial Hospital in Canso; and asking for a guarantee that this decision will not become permanent with services returning to normal once new nurses are hired.

    The Municipality will provide an additional $10,000.00 (per person) in incentives to be provided for recruitment of permanent placement Nurses and Doctors at both Eastern Memorial Hospital and Guysborough Memorial Hospital; and this incentive would not be 
applicable for nurses moving from Canso Seaside Manor or Milford Haven Home for Special Care to the hospitals.

    The Municipality will provide a budget of $10,000.00 to District 5 and 8 Councillors to take a local resident delegation to meet with Sr. Representatives of the Dept. of Health and Wellness and Sr. Representatives with the NS Health Authority to seek assurances that the current decision is temporary; that the funds will cover all travel costs; that the group would be encouraged to ask MLA Honourable Lloyd Hines to arrange all appropriate meetings and for him to attend such meetings with the delegation.

    The Municipality will write the Federal Government asking that a Federal Tax income tax deduction, similar to the Northern Residents Deduction, be implemented and be applicable to medical personnel working in rural community hospitals and long term care facilities; in communities with a population of 5,000 or less; as an incentive for medical personnel to locate in smaller communities.

    The Municipality will draft an emergency resolution to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities seeking their support to lobby the Federal Government to help secure an income tax deduction for individuals working in medical hospitals and long term care facilities, that are located in Municipalities with a population of 5,000 or less; that the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s will be asked to second the resolution; and that the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities would be asked to support the resolution.

    The Municipality request that Janet Knox, President & CEO of NSHA, MLA/Minister Lloyd Hines & Minister of Health Randy Delorey meet with Council in the Municipality at their earliest conveniences as a group or individually. 

For further information please contact Barry Carroll, CAO at bcarroll@modg.ca or 
(902) 533-3705 ext. 228 or Warden Vernon Pitts at (902) 870-6975 or vpitts@modg.ca 

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