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Virtual Urgent Care option enhances access in Lunenburg, Shelburne and Digby

An additional option for people to access care for urgent health concerns will soon be available at Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg and Roseway Hospital in Shelburne. 

Nova Scotia Health is offering a virtual option for people coming to the hospital with urgent, non-life threatening health issues. Virtual Urgent Care is not a replacement for the local emergency department but will be particularly helpful during times when the local emergency department is temporarily closed.

Virtual care is available at a number of emergency departments across the province and has been available at the Digby General Hospital since 2023.

Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital will offer this new service starting May 28. At Roseway Hospital, patients can access this service starting May 31. 

Virtual Urgent Care will be available at all three sites – Digby General, Fishermen’s Memorial and Roseway Hospitals Monday to Friday, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Even if the local emergency department is closed during these times, the virtual option will be available most days unless otherwise noted. Signs will be posted at each hospital letting people know when the service is available. 

Public, open house sessions will be held in Digby, Lunenburg and Shelburne to share information about the new virtual urgent care service and to answer questions about how it works, and what health issues are appropriate for the service.

Receiving urgent care virtually is simple, safe and confidential. At times when virtual urgent care is offered, patients will be assessed by on-site triage staff and register as usual. This can happen if the emergency department is open or temporarily closed. If their health matter is appropriate for virtual care, the patient is asked if they would like to see a virtual physician or nurse practitioner. If the patient agrees, a visit is arranged through a computer tablet in a room at the hospital. Once the virtual provider finishes the visit, staff on-site will print any requisitions for follow-up, and help book any additional tests or appointments for patients that need assistance. Follow up on tests/ appointments will be completed by the virtual care nurse practitioner or physician. 

When an emergency department is closed, patients with emergency health matters should call 911 for care. 

Some examples of what may be able to be seen through a virtual appointment include:  prescription refills; sinus congestion; coughs and sore throat; urinary tract infections; skin concerns; bites and stings; mild/ moderate aches and pains; and other conditions as assessed by your healthcare provider.

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