Construction began today, April 10, on Digby and Area Health Services Centre next door to Digby Regional Hospital. Preliminary work includes creating access to Warwick Street and fencing around the site. The $2.1 million project is being carried out by Garian Construction of Tusket, and construction is expected to take about 12 months.
©John DeMings photo
One new doctor has begun seeing patients in Digby and another will start soon.
Dr. Martin Robitaille has started seeing patients and Dr. Adrienne Weir will start in the next few weeks.
Both are entering into an interdisciplinary collaborative practice with Dr. Pejman Nourian and Nurse practitioners Margaret O’Neill and Daphne Demaine.
Drs. Robitaille and Weir will initially be seeing those patients that won a spot on the patient list of Dr. Hussam Abu-Seido in the phone-in lottery of June 20 this year.
South West Health will be calling those patients to make appointments.
The whole collaborative practice team will be working out of the third floor of Digby General starting Thursday, Sept. 11.
The offices of Dr. Nourian and Dr. Robitaille, as well as the offices of Nurse Practitioners O’Neill and Demaine will be temporarily closed Tuesday, Sept. 9 and Wednesday, Sept. 10 while they move their offices up to office space on the third floor east wing of Digby General Hospital.
This space will be the temporary location of the Digby and Area Health Services Centre until construction crews finish the new building beside the hospital.
The Town of Digby, the Municipality of the District of Digby and the Digby and Area Health Services Charitable Foundation each provided $20,000 for the renovations.
The town and municipality used monies that had been budgeted for doctor recruitment in 2012/ 2013 but not used.
“Everyone is looking forward to serving our community as an interdisciplinary collaborative team in this newly renovated space,” said Melanie Mooney, director of primary health care with South West Health. “The temporary space on the third floor will allow the team to work together while the permanent Digby and Area Health Services Centre is being constructed. We are very pleased with the progress to date on the new centre.”
South West Health said in April it would take a year to build the centre at a total cost of $2.7 million.
The Town of Digby, the provincial Department of Health and Wellness, the Municipality of the District of Digby and the Digby and Area Health Services Charitable Foundation are all funding the construction of the new clinic.
The foundation: $1,615,000
The province: $622,000
The municipality: $250,000
The town: $250,000
South West Health spokesperson Fraser Mooney says he expects that once the new doctors have processed the patients originally accepted by Dr. Abu-Seido, they may be in a position to accept more patients.
South West Health apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary office closure may cause on Sept. 9 and 10.
They advise people who need immediate assistance while the offices are closed, to please visit the Emergency Department.
They would like to remind the public to dial 911 in the case of a health emergency.
In non-emergency situations, they suggest you call 811 to speak to a Registered Nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week for advice. People experiencing a mental health issue can call the 24/7 mental health crisis line: 1-888-429-8167 .