Health clinic unaffected by government reforms

Colin MacLean
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AMHERST?- Recent announcements by the Nova Scotia government regarding health care will not affect Amherst's smallest clinic.
Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin manages the Amherst Family Health clinic; she believes the proposed changes would have next to no impact on her clinic for better or worse.
There are, however, some things she would have liked to have seen in the recommendations the government is considering.
"Close to 50 per cent of the people that come in, are coming because of anxiety and depression related issues," she said.
If those are the needs of the community then our health care system should be reflecting those needs, she said.
More support for people when they're going through times of stress could really take some of the burden off family doctors, she added.
One private therapist does work out of her clinic. But if people aren't insured or they can't pay out of their own pockets, they have to wait for the public system.
"We have people who have waited up to a year."
She would also like to see other health professionals used to their full potential, such as more nurses working in daily practice settings.
"Were not all of a sudden going to get an influx of doctors or nurses,"
So if a nurse were able to examine a patient before the doctor sees them it would free up more of the doctors time.
And if you look back over the last 20 years you see nurses being educated at a higher level, she said.
"If something can be done by other professionals and done well, it's more cost efficient."
Things are moving in that direction and these new recommendations are a good step but it will just take time, she said.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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