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MediBus is health care as it should be


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The MediBus is parked at the Municipality of Digby building, but it won’t be welcoming patients anytime soon.

 

To the Editor,

I am incredibly disappointed that the MediBus service is gone. I am not one to be political, nor do I profess to understand all the upper workings of the provincial government, but I do have an understanding of the needs of our communities.

Simply seeing a doctor or nurse practitioner has been too hard for too many people in this area for too long.

I recently helped an older woman who had been struggling to contact the consultants clinic only to be told they are not taking appointments. She tried to call another clinic, but couldn’t manage all the numbers and extensions.

She has trouble seeing, she has trouble hearing and she has been falling. I helped to dial and we reached a machine that did not take messages.  And here we encourage vulnerable people to live at home independently for longer.

This is only one small example of a common frustration. People live with dementia, mental illness, mobility issues, transportation problems, limited budgets, fears and anxieties. All of these prevent them from sitting for long periods in an outpatients department if they are able to make it to the hospital.

 We cannot even get referrals to specialists or other health care programs because, unless we are up for a long wait in outpatients, there is no doctor to make a referral for us.

This is not how health care in Nova Scotia should be.

What the MediBus offers is more than just a stop gap measure to fill the monumental holes in healthcare for the people of Digby and surrounding areas. The MediBus philosophy reaches those without a voice. It takes health care to the people, in their communities, in their homes.  It reaches vulnerable people, people with real challenges in complex situations. 

This is how health care in Nova Scotia should be.

We have been given a gift with the forward-thinking, progressive and person-centered approach to care that the MediBus has clearly and successfully demonstrated in the short time they served our area.

While we continue to wait for a new clinic, new doctors or new practitioners, here is one completely ready-to-serve, to refer, to help and to heal. And “billing issues” prevent our area from receiving adequate health care?

This is not a political impossibility. Community health care clinics are welcoming. The public is waiting.

This is an opportunity for us that we cannot afford to lose.

Contact MLA Gordon Wilson at PO Box 111 Church Point, NS B0W 1M0 or call 245-5300 and email at info@claredigby.ca .

Contact the Minister of Health at Department of Health and Wellness, 17th Floor, Barrington Tower, 1894 Barrington St. PO Box 488, Halifax, NS B3J 2R8 or call 424-3377 or health.minister@gov.ns.ca.

Let’s make things happen.

Dawn Thomas

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