Pugwash Healthcare Meeting Now Wide Open
Nova Scotia Health has bowed to pressure to host an open, public meeting on the status of healthcare and its future with a new hospital in Pugwash.
In a radio interview last August, Premier Tim Houston agreed that a public meeting would be helpful in clarifying what NS Health was planning for the new hospital, its staffing effort, and other concerns with emergency and primary medical care.
The request from Six Rivers News was forwarded to health officials by the Premier, along with the suggestion that Bill Martin — chair of the local committee assisting in physician recruitment — chair the public event.
That led to almost three months of back and forth as Martin was adamant it be a true and open meeting for all who were interested. The health officials were equally firm that they invite only certain people, those they called “community leaders.”
Without notice, the NSH decided they would run the event themselves and announced a meeting would be held at the Pugwash firehall, in a room with limited capacity. Though they called it a public meeting, the fact that only 55 could attend required people to email a registration and allow health officials to decide who could attend.
Martin made one final bid to gain an open meeting but those officials declined. They said they had tried to get a larger facility, including the Pugwash High School, but nothing was available.
With that, Martin booked the high school for the same date and time — Tuesday, November 28 from 6:00 to 7:30 — and solicited the premier’s office to suggest the venue be changed.
Nova Scotia Health’s Director, Internal Communications (and Northern Zone) Public Engagement, Communications & External Relations, Eileen MacIsaac, confirmed the change this morning. MacIsaac also confirmed that the larger room also means that people do not need to register in advance.
The meeting, open to anyone who wants to attend, is set for next Tuesday in the cafeteria at the high school, a venue that is often used for medium to large events in comfort and with the necessary audio/visual equipment.
Nova Scotia Health will provide a panel of senior staff to offer updates and take questions from the audience.
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