Nova Scotia

South Cumberland Collaborative Emergency Centre searches for doctors

A doctor shortage is causing emergency department closures at the South Cumberland Collaborative Emergency Centre in Parrsboro, but administrators believe the problem will be solved soon.

Health authority expects to have more staff in place within weeks

The first collaborative emergency care centre opened in Parrsboro in July 2011. The facility's emergency room has been closed multiple times this summer due to a doctor shortage. (CBC)

A doctor shortage is causing emergency department closures at the South Cumberland Collaborative Emergency Centre in Parrsboro.

Two physicians left the area over the winter and spring, leaving the health centre short-staffed, Nova Scotia Health Authority spokesperson Ann Keddy said Friday.

"We're looking to fill the spots...things should be looking better in a few weeks," she said.

Keddy said one recent medical school graduate has come to the area and is now working in the primary care clinic.

Ironically, the collaborative emergency centres, introduced by the Dexter NDP government, were developed to provide quicker access to primary care and to end a long string of ER closures that had been taking place across the province. The Parrsboro location was the first to open in 2011.

The centres were also set up in other parts of the province, including Springhill, Tatamagouche, Annapolis Royal and New Waterford.

The Parrsboro emergency department will be closed a total of 13 times between July 21 and Aug. 14, between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Overnight coverage, between 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., is being provided by paramedics, a registered nurse and a doctor.

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