During an announcement made at the Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne on Sunday, April 23, Premier Stephen McNeil announced that the tender for construction of the clinic – being referred to as the Shelburne Collaborative Health Centre – would be issued the following day on Monday, April 24.
The new clinic will be made up of family physicians, nurse practitioners, a family practice nurse and support staff.
In a media release the province says there are three family practices in the community right now. One of the practices that has two doctors will move into the new clinic. Those physicians will be joined by two new doctors. One arrives next month and the second one in July.
A new nurse practitioner and family practice nurse, announced by government earlier last week, will also move to the new clinic, along with two existing nurse practitioners.
Until the clinic opens in the early fall of 2018, these eight health-care providers will work together at the Roseway Hospital.
“Today marks the first time in two decades where we can boast that we will soon have four full-time doctors plus three nurse practitioners,” said Dr. John Keeler, physician site lead at Roseway Hospital. “I have practiced here for 30 years and know that our new health-care practitioners will find the community welcoming and supportive.”
Earlier this month www.thecoastguard.ca and the Tri-County Vanguard reported about how delays in the construction of the clinic were not preventing the collaborative care model from being put into place now. You can read that story here.
In a media release issued Sunday surrounding the announcement Premier Stephen McNeil made in Shelburne, the province said those registered on the Need a Family Practice list from the Shelburne and surrounding areas, like Lockeport, Barrington and Cape Sable Island, will now be able to access primary care from this team. Anyone who has yet to register can call 811.
Residents in the Shelburne area who need a primary-care provider should register with health authority’s provincial list by visiting http://needafamilypractice.nshealth.ca or by calling 811, Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
“This is another step toward our vision for primary care in Nova Scotia and a great example of collaboration with the community, Nova Scotia Health Authority and government,” said Premier McNeil. “Not only will this clinic meet the needs of the citizens today, but well into the future because of the teaching opportunity that will be there for family medicine residents.”
The Municipality of the District of Shelburne has also committed to supporting a part-time pharmacist position when the clinic opens next year. There will also be space included for family medicine residents from Dalhousie University to do a residency placement in Shelburne.
“Having a new facility where this collaborative family practice team can work together is one of the enablers to providing accessible, co-ordinated and comprehensive care for patients,” said Tricia Cochrane, vice-president of primary health care and public health, Nova Scotia Health Authority. “It’s an important next step as we continue to strengthen primary-care services for the Shelburne area and surrounding communities.”
The province says the total cost of the project will be known later this spring, once the tender has been awarded.
The project will be funded by the province, the Municipality of the District of Shelburne, the Town of Shelburne, and the Roseway Hospital Charitable Foundation.
Shelburne medical clinic timeline
• In 2008 a clinic renovation project is proposed by the physician recruitment committee.
• In 2009 the Municipality of Shelburne is the first to invest $200,000 into the project.
• In 2010 the District Health Authority submitted the project for capital funding to the province.
• In 2011 the province announced $430,000 toward the project.
• In 2013 an unexpected problem with the mechanical and electrical system raised the budget of the project by nearly half a million dollars. With the project now over $1 million the clinic plans needed to be resubmitted to government for approval.
• In 2014 the Municipality of Shelburne ups its commitment by $250,000.
• In 2015 the province announces $1.65-million in funding towards the clinic.
• In April 2016 it was announced that the clinic is deemed unsafe to upgrade. Members of the Nova Scotia Health Authority met with the Town of Shelburne to deliver the news that the clinic could not be upgraded. It was later confirmed construction of a new clinic would happen instead.
• In October 2017 a tender closed for the demolition of the existing clinic.
• April 23, 2017, province announces tender for clinic construction going out next day.