Service changes at Eastern Memorial Hospital

Nova Scotia Health Authority wishes to advise the public that Eastern Memorial Hospital (EMH) in Canso is changing its emergency department hours.

Beginning Sunday, May 12, the emergency department at EMH will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will be closed overnight. The overnight closure is due to a lack of nursing coverage.

This service change to consolidate nursing services is to support daytime emergency department coverage. During the past year, 90% of emergency department visits to EMH occurred during daytime hours. Admission to the hospital’s six inpatient beds will also be temporarily suspended, as there will be no overnight nursing coverage.

Those experiencing a medical emergency should call 911. For non-emergency health advice from a registered nurse, please call 811. The provincial Mental Health Crisis Line also operates 24/7 at 1-888-429-8167.

This plan follows conversations with physicians, staff and community leaders and significant ongoing efforts to deal with nursing vacancies. Recruitment efforts are ongoing and will continue.

“These changes are based on ensuring that we can provide stable daytime care, while we look at a more sustainable plan to provide service to the area,” said Brett MacDougall, executive director of operations in the Eastern Zone.

NSHA will share information with the community through an upcoming public information session. More information will come next week.

Anyone who is unclear about the availability of services may also contact the hospital at 902-366-2794.

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