Nova Scotia

Roseway Hospital clinic in Shelburne to be renovated for care centre

The Nova Scotia government will spend $1.65 million to renovate an old clinic at the Roseway Hospital in Shelburne and turn it into a collaborative health-care centre.

Government's plan is to turn Shelburne facility into collaborative care centre for $1.65M

The Roseway Hospital has struggled in past months with emergency room closures because of a lack of staffing.

The Nova Scotia government will spend $1.65 million to renovate an old clinic at the Roseway Hospital in Shelburne and turn it into a collaborative health-care centre.

The long-awaited announcement was made in Shelburne on Friday by Premier Stephen McNeil and Health Minister Leo Glavine.

The new centre — which will aim to provide care that helps residents avoid the use of the hospital's emergency room — will see the former medical centre on the Roseway Hospital grounds gutted and enlarged to what Glavine says will be much more than doctors' offices.

"We'll have doctors, nurse practitioners, family practice nurses and dieticians," Glavine said about the proposed centre.

The facility will also provide space and training for family medicine residents from Dalhousie University — something Glavine expects will improve recruitment of doctors to the rural area.

Construction on the Shelburne clinic is expected to begin next spring.

Don Bower, a local resident, said it was a good news.

"We're very, very pleased with the announcement," he said.

Frequent ER closures

The local community will also contribute, with the Roseway Hospital Charitable Foundation, the town and Municipality of the District of Shelburne all making financial commitments to it.

The province says it's moving to the final design stage of the project, with construction expected in the spring.

Bower said while people are grateful, right now all they have is a promise — which he hopes the government will keep.

"Is it fold your tent and go home?" he asked. "No. The tent's still pitched and people are still there on guard," he said. 

A new medical centre was promised to area residents in 2011, but it never materialized.

Glavine said consultations with the community made it clear a different kind of facility was needed.

The minister and premier were also reminded Friday that people in Shelburne County have struggled with frequent closures of the hospital's emergency department due to a lack of staffing. Residents of Shelburne County must travel at least an hour to either Yarmouth or Liverpool for emergency care when the Roseway Hospital emergency room is closed.

Glavine said the government's plan is to keep the emergency room there and do all it can to properly staff it.

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