Nova Scotia

IWK to send doctors to community clinics

The IWK Health Centre is getting ready to launch a program that will send pediatricians from the hospital to patients in the community.

The IWK Health Centre is getting ready to launch a program that will send pediatricians from the hospital to patients in the community.

Dr. Heather Rose, a pediatrician currently working at the IWK in Halifax, will begin seeing patients at the Community Wellness Centre in Spryfield on Jan. 19.

"I think it's very important and I'm very excited about it. We've been working on getting this type of a model up and running for many years," Rose told CBC News on Wednesday.

She said the Community Wellness Centre, which already has family doctors, is working with an older model of medicine.

"That model being that the physician practises where the children are," said Rose.

The pilot project is expected to last until the end of 2013. The clinic will be open two days each week for children who live in the Spryfield area.

Dr. Lynn Bussey, a family physician at the Community Wellness Centre, said she has known families who choose not to see a specialist because it's too hard to get to the appropriate hospitals.

"It makes sense for the population here. A lot of people have difficulty with transportation problems and the cost of parking downtown," she said.

"Better access in the community should hopefully lead to more people getting the help that they need."

Rose pointed out that when families make the trip to the IWK Health Centre, it's often in an emergency situation when there isn't time to teach families about children's health.

The IWK is also planning to send medical students and residents to the Community Wellness Centre. It is the first environment in Halifax where they can study the field of community pediatrics.

"They've been moving to other settings in the Maritimes or moving away from the Maritimes in order to do that," said Rose.

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