Nova Scotians encouraged to access the care they need
Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 03:16PM
It’s important that Nova Scotians who are experiencing any health concerns contact their primary care provider to access care.
“Even during this pandemic, people should continue to access their family practice when they need help with managing a health issue,” said Kathy Bell, Director of Primary Health Care, Eastern Zone, Nova Scotia Health Authority.
“Many family doctors and nurse practitioners are offering appointments by phone, and some may be providing appointments using video. It’s important to call your family practice as you normally would, and not put off accessing the health advice and care you might need.”
When people are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose or headache, they should complete the online self-assessment at 811.novascotia.ca. Those with two or more symptoms will be referred to a Primary Care Assessment Centre in their area, either by 811 staff or their primary care provider.
There are seven primary assessment centres in eastern Nova Scotia that are providing testing for symptoms related to COVID-19. A full list of the locations across the province is available here: www.nshealth.ca/coronavirus-assessment
One primary assessment centre is located in North Sydney at the Northside General Hospital.
“Through this centre, we are bringing together a team of health care providers to ensure patients in the Northside community have increased access to care and treatment for their respiratory illness,” said Dr. Stacy MacDonald, one of the physicians working in the clinic.
“As many of our colleagues are providing care to their patients through virtual means, this centre allows them to refer to their patients should they determine an in-person clinical assessment is required. We also hope the clinic will help ease pressure on local emergency departments.”
The primary assessment centres will ensure patients receive the necessary treatment and care based on referral from their primary care provider or 811.
While Nova Scotia Health Authority has made changes to a variety of services as part of its response to COVID-19, the health system in Nova Scotia continues to be available.
There are a number of ways to access care:
- Call your family practice to make an appointment, rather than stopping by in-person. The staff at your practice will provide information about appointment options, and will book you in for the type of care that best meets your needs.
- You can also visit 811.novascotia.ca for information on more than 500 health topics.
- Call your pharmacy if you need a prescription renewed. Pharmacists can provide short-term renewals for most prescriptions, as well as provide health advice for common health concerns.
- If you are experiencing a medical emergency, visit your nearest emergency department or call 911.
- The provincial Mental Health Crisis Line operates 24/7 at 1-888-429-8167.
- Kids Help Phone counsellors can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-668-6868.
Provincial media line: 1-844-483-3344