ALBERTON – The mayor of Alberton was sounding encouraged Wednesday following a meeting Tuesday with Health Minister Doug Currie.
Mayor Michael Murphy said the minister gave assurances to a gathering at Alberton Town Hall that Western Hospital and its emergency department are safe.
“Basically, the bottom line was, there is no intent or no discussion about closing Western in any way, shape or form,” Murphy emphasized.
In attendance for the meeting with Currie and physician recruitment officer Marnie MacRae were Murphy and four members of his council, the Tignish and Northport council chairs, members of the Western Hospital Foundation and MLA Pat Murphy.
The mayor said the minister denied rumours that suggest the hospital’s emergency room could close and stressed that both Western and Community hospitals are needed to help care for an aging population and high volumes of chronic diseases.
Currie reported on plans to tour Nova Scotia hospitals on Thursday to learn more about the Collaborative Emergency Care model that has been rolled out at rural hospitals over there.
Murphy said the minister answered a question on dialysis services by saying there is no intention to touch dialysis services currently being provided in Alberton, but government would not be supporting additional chairs there.
The mayor said council has been following the debate about hospital and emergency services.
“We like to deal with facts and we like to find out what’s actually going on.”