As part of the province’s commitment to strengthen health care in rural Saskatchewan, Minister responsible for Rural and Remote Health Randy Weekes recently announced that the province is exploring the implementation of Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs) in the province as an innovative approach to provide emergency and primary health care.
Weekes has just wrapped up a visit to Nova Scotia, where he toured Collaborative Emergency Centres to gain a first-hand perspective on their operations and applicability in Saskatchewan. Weekes was accompanied by Dr. Vino Padayachee, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA).
“I am very excited to learn about the potential the Collaborative Emergency Centre model holds for Saskatchewan as a way to address the challenges of health care delivery in rural and remote communities,” Weekes said.
“I am particularly pleased Dr. Padayachee with the SMA was able to join me and I look forward to working closely with other health care providers as we consider this new team-based approach to care.”
“This is an opportunity for Saskatchewan physicians to study ideas that are being deployed in other parts of the country and then look at the possibility of adapting and implementing them in similar settings in our province,” SMA President Dr. Janet Shannon said. Delegates from Nova Scotia will be in Saskatchewan this fall to present to a broad audience, including health care and municipal stakeholders, and share their first hand experience with this innovative approach to health care.
Collaborative Emergency Centres are designed to enhance access to high quality, comprehensive primary care that is capable of dealing with unexpected illness or injury in a timely fashion. Nova Scotia has been implementing this model in communities where maintaining 24-7 emergency service is difficult.
CECs are open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and are staffed by a primary health care team during the day and a team that includes a nurse and a paramedic, with physician oversight through the emergency health system, during the night. The benefits of the CEC model include: improved access, shorter waiting lists, same day appointments, reducing number of visits to emergency rooms and increased patient satisfaction.
For more information on Primary Health Care in Saskatchewan visit the Ministry of Health website at http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/primary-health-care.