EAST HANTS: Whether you are a senior citizen, a mom with kids, or anyone in between, having access to proper medical assistance when needed is essential. Unfortunately this hasn’t been the case for many residents of East Hants who have been left doctor-less since Jan. 28, when Dr. Dastmalchian left the Elmsdale Medical Clinic.

Since then, patients of Dr. Dastmalchian — known as Dr. Dast — have been travelling out of the area to receive medical attention at either walk-in clinics, or emergency rooms at centres outside of the Corridor. But on March 16, MLA Margaret Miller confirmed this problem is no more.

Elmsdale is set to receive a new doctor.

“I had a meeting with the Elmsdale doctors about the first of February,” Miller said, “they told me what their concerns were and that they were challenged to find a replacement doctor for Dr. Dast and his patients.

They went over with me a little bit of their presentation, what the needs were of the clinic, what their hopes for moving forward is, so I actually shared that again with the minister and we discussed some of the needs of Hants East and I was very pleased when I heard last week that the new doctor was approved.”

Miller said most of the needs and concerns discussed revolved around the ratio of the number of patients who use the clinic to the number of doctors available to serve them.

“We know that for 20,000 patients you need to have a lot of doctors, you can’t rely on one or two, and many of the doctors at the Elmsdale clinic are very over worked, they have a large patient base that they are managing and it becomes a real challenge to provide the services that they want to provide for Hants East,” she said.

Although Miller could not confirm an exact date for when the new doctor will begin taking patients, residents can rest easy knowing they have a doctor on the way in the near future.

Many residents of Kennetcook have expressed similar concerns regarding the future of their doctor situation after rumors circulated that the Kennetcook Medical Clinic will be relocating.

Miller confirmed that a move was coming, but was unsure if they would be staying in the area.

The Weekly Press reached out to the clinic on March 20 for more information and spoke to one of their administrators who confirmed they were moving just up the street to the old Pics n Flics location in two weeks, and will continue to serve the same patient base, with no further changes beyond office location.

In addition to this news, on March 16, Premier Stephen McNeil and Janet Knox, Nova Scotia Health Authority President and CEO made the announcement that a second operating room will be opening at the Hants Community Hospital in Windsor as part of the QEII Redevelopment Project.

This means, almost 800 more surgeries will take place at the hospital each year, bringing these essential services much closer to the residents of East Hants.

Miller said the project, which will cost $3.8 million, will be a huge benefit to residence of Hants County.

“I think it’s really wonderful to see there’s an expansion of medical services in our area, most people will go anywhere to get the services they need whether is knees or hips whatever, whatever services that extra operating room will allow to happen will be a benefit to all,” she said.

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Nicole Gnazdowsky
Nicole graduated from Saint Francis Xavier University with a degree in political science in 2014 and University of King’s College with a journalism degree in 2016. She has been with The Weekly Press since May 2016. Nicole grew up in Rothesay N.B. and now lives in Halifax. She loves her dog, Madden, and travelling.