November 17, 2016
Digby & Area Health Services Centre
Update to Staff & Patients
November 10, 2016
• A family doctor will be available to see people from November 15 to December 22, 2016. Former patients of family physicians and nurse practitioners of the Digby & Area Health Services Centre and people from the Weymouth and Digby communities who do not have a family physician or Nurse Practitioner can book an appointment during this time by calling the centre at: (902) 245-1307.
• The new Duty Clinic started on Wednesday, November 9th and will continue every Wednesday at the health centre. Patients of former doctors or nurse practitioners at the health centre can be seen in the duty clinic. Nurse practitioners will be providing care but will not be taking new patients. No narcotics or controlled substances will be prescribed as part of the duty clinic. Since there is limited time for each appointment, only priority issues will be addressed. Appointments are intended for urgent needs and will ONLY be booked on the day of the clinic starting at 8 am. Call to book an appointment at: (902) 245-1307.
• Nurse practitioners are also accepting new patients from the Digby area who are; young children up to 18 months of age and any woman who is pregnant and does not have a family doctor or nurse practitioner.
We will continue to provide updates like this on a regular basis to keep patients and the public informed.
October 7, 2016
June 16, 2016
Health Authority Nullifies Physician Appointment for Weymouth Clinic
Published: 24 May 2016
May 24, 2016
(DIGBY, NS) There will not be a doctor assigned to the medical clinic in Weymouth, NS.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) has advised the Municipality of Digby, that the vacant doctor position in Weymouth has been moved to Digby.
As a result of this decision the NSHA will not approve a doctor in Weymouth.
The Municipality of the District of Digby, in partnership with the Village of Weymouth, local community members, and MLA Gordon Wilson had been working hard over the last 2 to 3 years to recruit a doctor for the Weymouth Clinic, initially to find someone to help local Doctor Donald Westby with his heavy patient load, then replace him when he retired in October of 2015.
“It now appears that even if we were successful in recruiting someone willing to come the appointment would not have been approved, and therefore the Municipality has regrettably decided not to renew our contract with the professional recruiting firm when it comes due at the end of May”, said Linda Gregory, Warden for the Municipality.
The MLA for Clare-Digby, Gordon Wilson, expressed his disappointment with the decision.
" I am very disappointed that despite all the efforts we have put into this and also by the community that we continue to struggle with finding doctors for the Digby area,” he said.
The MLA did say that Weymouth would continue to be a focus for future service.
“I have been assured by the Minister of Health that as doctor recruitment for the Digby Community Health Clinic continues, new doctors will be providing collaborative family physician services out of the Weymouth clinic, and additionally there will also be a nurse practitioner presence as a part of primary health care model for Weymouth", Wilson maintained.
In November of 2015 the Municipality engaged a professional recruiting firm to look for doctors interested in coming to Weymouth.
They were successful in bringing a doctor to visit the area, who could not accept an offer at that time due to personal reasons; and subsequently gave a tour of the Weymouth Clinic to another prospective doctor who had been living in Halifax with his family for the past five years, and is a Canadian citizen.
Unfortunately, as an internationally trained doctor, he was unable to get licensed in Nova Scotia because there is no assessment program in Nova Scotia since the Collage of Physicians and Surgeons of NS cancelled the Clinician Assessment for Practice Program (CAPP) in 2014.
“When we hired the recruiting firm we had great hope that we would be able to find a doctor to replace Dr Westby, however it quickly became clear to us that the NS Health Authority not only did not approve of us hiring a professional recruiter, but that there was no longer a position for a doctor in Weymouth and they would not cooperate with us or the recruiter.”, explained Warden Gregory.
The recruitment firm also expressed its disappointment with the decision.
"The Physician Recruitment Committee for the Weymouth area did all that they could reasonably do to recruit a replacement for Dr. Westby; unfortunately, the Health Authority's vision for the future of primary care in Southwest Nova Scotia does not include a medical clinic in the Village of Weymouth”, said David Nurse, Regional Manager for CanAm Physician recruitment, Inc.
“We believe that more openness from the Health Authority at the public meeting in Weymouth several months ago would have been beneficial for the recruitment committee, CanAm, and the citizens of Weymouth”, Nurse stated, adding, “Expectations were raised at that meeting that replacing Dr. Westby in Weymouth was possible when I believe that the decision had effectively been made at that time not to support a solo family physician beginning practice in Weymouth."
The Municipality and the recruitment firm also expressed the hope that any physician recruited to Digby will be encouraged to open his or her practice to the residents of Weymouth and consider innovative ways to extend primary care to the residents, and that provision made for an on site nurse practitioner presence at the clinic as well.
(Digby Board of Trade)
Article from the Digby Courier May 25, 2016
The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NHSA) wants any doctor serving Weymouth to work out of the Digby Community Health Clinic.
A spokesperson for the NSHA said this will enable the authority to provide better care to patients.
“We have an approved physician position to serve the people of Weymouth,” she wrote by email to the Digby Courier. “The position is based in Digby, where the physician will work with the collaborative practice, to provide more comprehensive care to patients. Having this position attached to a collaborative practice also sets us up for better success for physician recruitment and retention.”
The spokesperson said one of the changes with the new arrangement of health services in Nova Scotia is that all doctors are required to have hospital privileges – and with those privileges the authority will require they practice in areas with approved positions.
This will help the authority with planning for doctor recruitment and replacement, she said.
And this will enable the authority to move the health care system towards a collaborative health care model with doctors and other primary health care providers working as a team rather than solo.
Dr. Don Westby practiced in Weymouth for 30 years, and for most of the time he was the only physician in the village.
The village held a public meeting Oct. 29, 2015 to find out what the plan was to replace Dr. Westby.
Dr. Alenia Kysela, executive director of medicine for the western zone of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, told that meeting that recruiting a doctor for Weymouth would be hard.
“That kind of comprehensive health care provided by one person is not the way primary health care is going,” she said. “New physicians want to have a life with a work/ life balance. They don’t want to start work at 7 in the morning and work until 9 at night; they want smaller practices and they want a collaborative practice where they work as part of a team.”
Westby retired Nov. 1, 2015, and Nov. 15, the municipality hired a professional recruiting firm.
Warden Linda Gregory of the Municipality of the District of Digby says she and her council are very disappointed by the health authority’s new approach.
“The health authority told us at the meeting in Weymouth they would do everything they could to help us find a doctor for Weymouth,” said Gregory. “When we hired the recruiting firm we had great hope that we would be able to find a doctor to replace Dr. Westby, however it quickly became clear to us that the Nova Scotia Health Authority not only did not approve of us hiring a professional recruiter, but that there was no longer a position for a doctor in Weymouth and they would not cooperate with us or the recruiter.”
Gregory says the municipality will not renew their contract with the recruiting firm when the current contract ends at the end of May.
“There’s no use,” she said. “We aren’t going to waste our time, the recruiter’s time and raise the hopes of the community when there’s no position in Weymouth.”
The warden hopes any physician recruited to Digby will be encouraged to open his or her practice to the residents of Weymouth and consider innovative ways to extend primary care to the residents, and that provision made for an on site nurse practitioner presence at the clinic as well.
[Collection of our coverage of the Weymouth doctor recruitment struggles:Replacing Dr. Westby]
March 1. 2016
The Weymouth Waterfront Development Committee would like to welcome Joanne Gidney-Tinker who has recently been hired as an intern for the inter-active Interpretive Centre development plan led by us. (WWDC).
She will be working at the lovely Sissiboo Landing in Weymouth for the next year on a development plan to open an inter-active Interpretive Centre in the old library, now called the Fairmiles building, that will hold the single largest repository of Electric City artifacts. She will be specifically cataloguing many artifacts and reaching out to the community for any unexplored stories and artifacts.
This will be part of the groundwork to begin looking at how we can develop future guided tours to New France and turn the lights back on
Joanne says, “I am so thankful for this opportunity, but more importantly working with such a great team and community! Everyone has been so welcoming and friendly and I really look forward to learning more about Weymouth over the next year.”
Municipality Retains Physician Recruitment Firm December 2, 2015 (DIGBY, NS)
The campaign to recruit practitioners for the medical clinic in Weymouth has been significantly stepped up. The Municipality of the District of Digby and the Village of Weymouth announced that it has engaged one of Canada's premier physician recruitment firms to identify and recruit a replacement for recently retired Dr. Don Westby. CanAm Physician Recruitment Inc. has been awarded a six month contract by the Municipality to lead that search. Municipality of Digby Warden Linda Gregory, who also Chairs the Weymouth Doctor Recruitment Committee, said that Committee members have been working diligently with the community and the provincial government to ensure continuation of medical service in Weymouth for over two years and that it was time to take dramatic action. “We've heard loud and clear from the community that action has to be taken, and taken quickly”, Warden Gregory said, “And retaining professional recruitment services indicates that we are prepared to immediately accelerate that process.” The Warden pointed out that while the long term goal is the recruitment and placement of two doctors and a nurse practitioner for the Weymouth Clinic, this action represented an important first step in that initiative. She also added that everyone had a role to play in the recruitment process. “While the Municipality and the Committee can play a lead role in this effort through working with the recruitment team, the whole community can help by being ready to welcome and engage prospective practitioners”, she said. CanAm Executive Director and CEO John Philpott said that he looked forward to working with the Committee and the community in this endeavour, commenting that “Weymouth and the surrounding community is a beautiful area with great people and an existing facility that should be of considerable interest to potential practitioners.” Gregory said the Committee will continue to work in partnership with the Municipality of Clare and in concert with the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) during this contracted initiative; adding that Clare Digby MLA Gordon Wilson has agreed to act as liaison with the NSHA. The Committee will update the community on an ongoing basis, directly and through the media, concerning the recruitment process. In addition to the Warden, Committee members include Municipal Councillor George Manzer, and Municipality CAO Linda Fraser; Irwin Gaudet who is Chair of the Village of Weymouth, Village Commissioner Anthony Frizzell, Village Clerk Murray Betts; community members Dr. Don Westby, Nathan Hanna, Barry Faulkner, and Denise Theriault; along with representatives from the Municipality of Clare. -30- For further information contact: Peter MacLellan Communications Coordinator Digby Development Agency 902-308-3331