© File photo
Health department hiring another nurse practitioner for Digby's hospital.
Government ‘revisiting what it can do’ until collaborative centre built
Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine said Friday another nurse practitioner will be hired for Digby General Hospital within two weeks.
His announcement followed the minister’s announcement that billing obstacles will prevent a return of the privately-operated MediBus, which mounted a demonstration project here in the fall using a nurse practitioner.
“So, in the short term, government is going to revisit what we can do inside Digby General Hospital until the collaborative centre is built,” said Glavine.
The minister said he recently signed off on additional money for Digby’s planned collaborative health centre.
“That has been approved and they should have a contractor shortly,” he said.
The health centre, to be built next to Digby General Hospital, has been held out as the best hope to attract doctors to the area. South West Health has said the health centre was a major factor in signing four doctors, Dr. Pejman Nourian, who started in November, and at least three more who will start by January, 2015.
“Digby is going from what I call a decade of difficulty,” said Glavine. “This is going to give Digby a long-term sustainable approach to health care, which it has lacked for far too long.”
The minister noted that the past had seen a number of financial incentives offered prospective doctors by Digby town and municipality, “but nothing seemed to work. Finally, the collaborative centre especially suits young doctors.”
Digby is going from what I call a decade of difficulty. Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine
He said a recent meeting with three young physicians showed him that they are looking for the benefits of a collaborative practice, as well as time with their growing families and support from other health professionals.
That echoed an earlier statement from South West Health which said all four doctors for Digby indicated they wanted to work in a turnkey collaborative practice setting like the proposed health centre.
With construction of the health centre running about a year behind schedule, South West Health has asked the town and municipality of Digby as well as Digby Area Charitable Health Services Foundation to each commit $20,000 to renovate space on the third floor of Digby General. The space will then be turned into temporary office space for the doctors, and may later be used to establish a wellness centre.