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Amherst gets assurances about regional hospital’s status

Health Minister Leo Glavine meets with municipal representatives on Wednesday. The minister assured those at the meeting that there are no plans to downgrade the status of the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.
Health Minister Leo Glavine meets with municipal representatives on Wednesday. The minister assured those at the meeting that there are no plans to downgrade the status of the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.

AMHERST, N.S. – Amherst’s mayor and council has been given assurances by Health Minister Leo Glavine that there are no plans to downgrade the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.

Dr. David Kogon and all six members of council were joined by CAO Greg Herrett and several representatives from the Municipality of Cumberland in the meeting with the minister.

Dr. David Kogon and all six members of council were joined by CAO Greg Herrett and several representatives from the Municipality of Cumberland in the meeting with the minister.

The meeting lasted for more than an hour and Kogon feels a lot was accomplished.

“I was very pleased to hear the minister assure us that the regional status of the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre is secure,” Kogon said. “He also agreed to put that assurance in writing. So I’ll be looking forward to receiving his letter.”

Kogon said the town appreciates how quickly the minister made himself available and thanked Cumberland North MLA Terry Farrell for setting up the meeting.

The group was given the opportunity to speak directly to the minister and have their questions answered regarding community concerns about the status of the hospital and how operational changes could change that.

The minister said a strong regional hospital in Amherst is an important part of the long-term vision for health care in Nova Scotia.

The meeting was a culmination of a series of meetings, conversations and contacts that Kogon and others have had over the last week with health care professionals, government representatives and local health care leadership.

“It’s important to both hear the concerns of the community and talk to the people who are directly involved to ensure that all the facts are known,” Kogon said.

Based on the meetings, Kogon said he is pleased the community came together to identify the issue and said he is confident that through his medical background and personal relationships with local health care professionals and leadership and now with the minister that the lines of communication are open.

“I'm satisfied with the assurances that we received today that the future of our regional hospital is secure,” Kogon said. “We will use the network that we have established over the past few weeks to continue to monitor our healthcare.”

Farrell feels area municipal officials now have a better understanding of the future of health care and how local facilities fit. He said the meeting was an excellent example of teamwork among municipal and provincial representatives.

“As residents of Cumberland County we will be part of the solution if we inform ourselves, work together as a community and think creatively and progressively,” said Farrell.

Farrell said the minister has agreed to meet with citizens at a town hall style meeting on Dec. 15.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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