Hurricane Fiona update: Nova Scotia Health asks those who can wait for care not to visit emergency departments

Nova Scotia Health is working to provide as much service as possible while recovering from the impacts of Hurricane Fiona.

Our emergency departments around the province are busy. We encourage those Nova Scotians who can wait for care to do so rather than visiting an emergency department. Nova Scotians who are registered with the Need a Family Practice registry can all use VirtualCareNS (https://www.nshealth.ca/content/virtualcarens). We understand that power and network issues are affecting many in the province.

People on home oxygen and those who need power for medical devices need to go to Comfort Centres, not hospital emergency departments, in the event of a power outage. They should contact their local EMO or municipal government to see where they will be set up in their communities.

We request that public who are waiting in traffic for coffee shops, gas stations, etc. to ensure that vehicles are not blocking access to hospital sites or the pathway of emergency vehicles.

Decisions will be made later today about our ability to go ahead with scheduled outpatient care and services provided at community-based locations.

We will share further updates through media and social media and contact patients as we are able.

Please do not attend scheduled appointments for care if it is unsafe for you to travel.

Anyone with urgent medical needs should call 911.

For general health advice and information call 811, which is a service offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week by experienced registered nurses.

The Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line can also be reached 24/7 by calling 1-888-429-8167.