Citizens group awaits health care consultant’s report

·2 min read

GUYSBOROUGH – When the Citizens Supporting Community Health Care group in Guysborough asked to take part in the consultation process on the state of health care in the area, they were expecting more involvement before the report was submitted to the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA).

At a Jan. 19 meeting, the group met with health care consultant Mary Jane Hampton – via Zoom – and was told that the report had already been presented to the NSHA and the minister for review.

Paul Long, who has been active in the citizens’ group since it formed last August, told The Journal on Friday (Jan. 22) that the group was surprised to learn the report had already been submitted.

“I guess we thought that was a little bit backwards to do it that way but that is the way she has gone about it, so we agreed to be as cooperative as possible and review what she has come up with.”

As Long understands the situation, once the report has approval from the NSHA and the minister, it will be brought to the community for comment and adjustments.

“To be fair,” said Long, “we’ll reserve our judgement on things until we see it. It just didn’t seem like a real process of consultation. My understanding, most of the consultation was done within the health authority’s parameters and really wasn’t as extensive in the community as some people would have liked to have seen.”

During the meeting, Hampton reportedly said that she thought the people in the area would be pleased with the report and that there was no recommendation to close the hospitals in Guysborough and Canso.

Long said, “There is no indication of what the hospitals would look like, what the services would be, but it wouldn’t be a recommendation for closure. That part is a positive. But we’ll wait and see what the structure is going to look like.”

More information should be forthcoming this week and Long said, “I think the idea is that once it is presented (to the citizens’ group), it will be out there for public consumption – for people to look at and make their opinions known.… If it is not something that is palpable to the community then certainly the municipality will have something to say about it and surely the individual citizens will let their feelings be known.”

Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal