Health Scan – Atlantic Canada and Manitoba – November 24, 2023

Health Scan – Atlantic Canada and Manitoba – November 18-24, 2023. Written by Wes McLean.

Manitoba

  • The Manitoba government is taking steps to reduce waits in emergency departments in Winnipeg, Selkirk and Brandon by adding capacity and expanding patient discharges from five to seven days a week, Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara announced today. The Manitoba government is making an initial investment of $2.75 million this fiscal year to expand the number of allied health staff and hospital case coordinators at Winnipeg hospitals as well as Selkirk Regional Health Centre and Brandon Regional Health Centre.  
  • The first speech from the throne under Manitoba’s new government was delivered earlier this week, and healthcare features prominently. Here is a link to the Capital Hill Group overview of the speech: The Manitoba 2023 Speech From The Throne – CHG 2023
  • Manitoba health officials are looking into the death of a patient who was waiting in a Grace Hospital emergency department hallway this weekend. The patient died Saturday morning, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said and was being cared for while waiting to be transferred to an in-patient bed in the West Winnipeg hospital. The health authority said it is reviewing the death to determine whether it meets the criteria for a critical incident, and confirmed the patient had been waiting in the ER for 33 hours.

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • As part of the Provincial Government’s continued efforts to re-imagine health care delivery in Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services (NL Health Services) will launch a new virtual care solution this fall that will increase access to healthcare for rural areas and residents who do not have a primary care provider. The Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Health and Community Services, made the announcement earlier this week as part of the latest Health Care Action Minister Osborne was joined by Dr. Pat Parfrey, Deputy Minister of Health Transformation, and Stephen Greene, Vice President – Digital Health and Chief Information Officer, NL Health Services.
  • 10 years in the making, the first community-based hospice in N.L. has opened. Work on the Lionel Kelland Hospice started in 2014 in Grand Falls-Windsor. The opening of the 10-bed facility on Thursday brought a wave of emotions from people involved since Day 1, like board chair Mark Griffin. The hospice is the first such facility in Newfoundland and Labrador to operate outside the provincial health authority.
  • Details of the Teladoc Health contract to provide virtual emergency rooms and primary care for Newfoundland and Labrador have been revealed, but healthcare leaders harbour concerns about its cost, suitability and how it’s being deployed. Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association president Dr. Gerard Farrell says there’s still plenty they don’t know. On Monday, Health Minister Tom Osborne unveiled more information about its $22-million contract with Teladoc Health, including that the company will open five virtual emergency rooms and offer virtual primary-care physicians in the coming months.
  • The group that represents pharmacists in Newfoundland and Labrador says it’s been left out of the provincial government’s current drive to recruit and retain healthcare workers. Pharmacist Kara O’Keefe told CBC News that, like other healthcare professions across the province and Canada, there are increasing vacancies in pharmacies. “Pharmacists and pharmacy staff, such as technicians and assistants across the province, are noticing that their workload is increasing, and this increases the risk for burnout as well. So it’s something that we’re worried about,” she said.

Nova Scotia

  • Seniors in Pictou County will have more access to long-term care with the construction of a new nursing home in Westville. The new facility, expected to open in 2028, will be home to 48 seniors in need of long-term care, and each resident will have their own room and private washroom. Premier Tim Houston made the announcement today, November 24.
  • More seniors in the Truro area will have access to modern, single-bed long-term care rooms with the replacement of two local nursing homes. The Mira nursing home will be replaced by a new facility with about 120 rooms, expected to open in 2032. The new Townsview Estates will include about 53 rooms when it opens in 2031. These new builds will add an estimated 30 long-term care rooms in the area. Dave Ritcey, MLA for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River, made the announcement on behalf of Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Barbara Adams today, November 23.
  • Seniors in Kings County will have more access to long-term care with a new, 144-room home expected to open in 2028. A service provider to build and operate the facility will be selected through a competitive process. As well, Evergreen Home for Special Care in Kentville is being replaced with a new, modern facility, also with about 144 rooms, expected to open in 2031. John Lohr, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and MLA for Kings North announced the new nursing home and the replacement facility on behalf of Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Barbara Adams today, November 22.
  • More seniors in Shelburne and surrounding communities who need long-term care will have access with the addition of 48 rooms to the new Roseway Manor. The new, modern nursing home, which will replace the current Roseway Manor and is expected to open in 2027, will now have 112 rooms. Shelburne MLA Nolan Young announced the expansion on behalf of Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Barbara Adams today, November 21, at Roseway Manor.
  • The Nova Scotia government announced Thursday that it is creating a new funding stream to support income assistance clients with a disability or serious medical condition. Beginning in April 2024, the Income Assistance Disability Supplement will provide an additional $300 per month to people on income assistance who are not currently in the Disability Support Program.

New Brunswick

  • A new urgent treatment centre has opened in Fredericton, giving patients more options for non-life-threatening medical needs and improving access to primary care. “Partners across the healthcare system are working to ensure that patients have access to the primary care they need,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “That means giving people access to more points of service when they do not need to visit an emergency room.” The Fredericton Urgent Treatment Centre in the Brookside Mall is staffed by physicians, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, and will alleviate pressure on local hospital emergency rooms.
  • A new urgent treatment centre has opened in Fredericton, giving patients more options for non-life-threatening medical needs and improving access to primary care. “Partners across the healthcare system are working to ensure that patients have access to the primary care they need,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “That means giving people access to more points of service when they do not need to visit an emergency room.” The Fredericton Urgent Treatment Centre in the Brookside Mall is staffed by physicians, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, and will alleviate pressure on local hospital emergency rooms.
  • In its first week, Horizon Health Network is seeing high demand for a walk-in centre aimed at treating patients with non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries in the Fredericton area. The centre opened on Monday at the Brookside Mall in Fredericton, offering daytime service on a first-come, first-serve basis. The treatment includes a physician, nurses, a radiographer and an ultrasound technician, said Dr. Krishna Pulchan, head of Horizon’s emergency medicine department for the Fredericton area.
  • A new program for students at the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University promises to give students access to mental health support 24/7. The program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students at the two schools. “We want people to know if it’s, like, three in the morning and you really want to talk to somebody, there’s an option for you,” said April Kennedy, director of UNB Counselling Services. “People feel isolated in their struggles, and sometimes you have to wait for a counselling appointment, or the moment where you feel like talking about it isn’t at the same moment that you have an appointment.” 

Prince Edward Island

  • PEI released its capital budget earlier this week. Healthcare-related expenditures include:
    • Continued Commitment to Mental Health – $167M over 5 years
    • Space for Medical Students – $17.5M over 5 years   
    • Healthcare Facility Upgrades – $125.5M over 5 years 
    • Primary Care – $57M over 5 years 
    • Technology Enhancements – $18.3M over 5 years 
  • A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared in the in-patient unit at Kings County Memorial Hospital in Montague. “During this time, patients on the in-patient unit are restricted to three partners-in-care, with only one partner-in-care present at a time,” Health P.E.I. said in a news release on Thursday.  “Visitor restrictions will remain in place until the outbreak is declared over.”
  • E.I.’s health minister took the brunt of questions at the legislature Wednesday as MLAs brought up concern after concern about the state of the Island’s ailing healthcare system. More than two-thirds of the daily question period was taken up by questions to or answers from Health Minister Mark McLane. Those topics ranged from psychiatric care to nursing recruitment and bonuses; physician hiring numbers and ER wait times to healthcare leadership salaries; addictions, detox facilities and overdose prevention sites to wait times for services like Maple.

Keep Up to Date With Trending News

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website visit.

CHG Logo.