Improved access to primary healthcare is focus of renewed partnership at Harbour South Family Practice, Yarmouth
Creating the best conditions to enhance access to primary health care services is the goal behind a renewed community partnership in Yarmouth.
Harbour South Family Practice on Main Street, Yarmouth has been owned and operated by the Yarmouth Area Industrial Commission and under the medical direction of Dr. Roland Muise and the team since 2006. Starting in August 2023, a new agreement sees Nova Scotia Health support clinic operations while the Industrial Commission continues to maintain the property.
“We have always worked closely with Nova Scotia Health, and we look forward to building a stronger collaborative family practice team under this new turn-key clinic model,” said Dr. Roland Muise, Harbour South Medical Director.
The team currently has physicians and nurse practitioners, with planning underway to add more providers to the Harbour South team, including a dietitian, pharmacist, social worker and licensed practical nurse. Together, this interprofessional team will provide a more comprehensive approach to care for patients and will help expand the capacity of the family practice to see more patients. Renovations to the space have increased the number of examination rooms to allow more patients to be seen by more providers.
The Yarmouth Area Industrial Commission (YAIC) is made up of representatives from the Municipality of Argyle, the Municipality of Yarmouth and the Town of Yarmouth.
“The successful transition of Harbour South Family Practice is something the Industrial Commission board is very proud of,” said Guy Surette, Argyle Councilor and Chair of YAIC. “All three municipal councils in Yarmouth County continue to be focused on supporting the recruitment of physicians and other health care providers. This new arrangement with Nova Scotia Health will allow us to do this in a more direct and meaningful way.”
The work to enhance access to services at Harbour South Family Practice Medical Clinic is part of government’s recent announcement around new and expanded primary health care services across the province (for more, read: New, expanded primary healthcare clinics boost access).
“Nova Scotia Health’s close partnership with the Harbour South team has already paved the way to add more options to access primary healthcare services, such as the mobile clinics that regularly operate in that location,” said Melanie Mooney, Health Services Manager “We know this model of practice is an attractive incentive when recruiting new providers and keeping them in a community. This new approach in Yarmouth will also allow us all to focus on creating more opportunities to expand and enhance access to a variety of care options.”
Other options for primary care access:
- There are a number of ways people can access primary health care services. Mobile primary care clinic dates and locations can be found here.
- The Need a Family Practice Registry connects Nova Scotians who do not have a primary care provider with a family practice. Add your name to the registry at needafamilypractice.nshealth.ca or call 811.
- VirtualCareNS provides people on the Need a Family Practice Registry with free online access to a family doctor or nurse practitioner. For more information, visit virtualcarens.ca
- Virtual Urgent Care Service is available weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to noon. The service is free for Nova Scotia based patients with a valid health card. To access this virtual urgent care service, call 1-833-413-0277 (during hours of operation).
- Speak with your community pharmacist about the services they can provide. To see a list of services, or to find a pharmacy in your community, please visit: pans.ns.ca/find
- Call 811 to speak with a registered nurse for health care advice, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- The 24-hour mental health crisis line is always available at 1- 888-429-8167. You can also visit mhahelpns.ca for information on mental health and addictions support and available services.
- People experiencing a health emergency should immediately call 911 or go to their nearest open emergency department.
Where to go for health care is a helpful document with information on services in Yarmouth, Digby and Shelburne Counties. https://www.nshealth.ca/wheretogoforhealthcare