North End Community Health Centre's roof needs urgent repairs
If roof fails, doctor says nearly 5,000 patients registered with clinic would be without care
A health clinic in Halifax's north end says it needs immediate repairs to its roof, otherwise it could collapse.
The North End Community Health Centre told the Nova Scotia Health Authority at the end of January it needed financial help to fix a list of on-going structural issues.
But more than two months later there's been little sign of help.
Dr. Rod Wilson, the centre's executive director and a family practitioner there, said with significant rain expected over the next few days, he's worried the roof could collapse.
"Since [January] we've had our inspections and we know that the roof is beyond patching," he said. "Some of it's right through into the frame and we submitted a proposal to the Nova Scotia Health Authority to look into options with our capital needs and were waiting to hear — but our roof continues to leak."
If the roof fails to hold, Wilson said the nearly 5,000 patients registered with the clinic would be without primary care.
$75K in repairs
The roof needs approximately $75,000 in repairs, in addition to another $375,000 to fix other outstanding structural issues.
"The good news is that it's only going to be about $75,000. Unfortunately, it's $75,000 that we don't have," said Wilson.
The health authority confirmed it received the clinic's proposal and request for funding on Feb. 2. In a statement it said there is a standard process when considering infrastructure needs and "projects are weighted according to need."
"At any given time we have literally hundreds of requests for capital spending, and our budget for expenditures is only a fraction of the amount needed to do all of them," the statement said.
Clinic dubbed the 'Sea King'
The clinic has owned the building since the late 1970s, and had it renovated in 1982.
Wilson said they call the building the "Sea King," because "we've retrofitted many times but we're almost grounded."
He said the clinic's budget is already stretched to the limit with day-to-day costs and there's been no funding increase in eight years.
"Two years ago we became more aggressive with fundraising to fill a gap," said Wilson, adding that the gap remains.
"Our community's very proud. We don't want a hand out but we do want to have some discussion as to how we can make this work."
With files from Information Morning, Zak Markan