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Saturday, February 4, 2023

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New Pugwash Library Opens on Monday

New Pugwash Library Opens on Monday

New Pugwash Library Opens on Monday

New Pugwash Library Opens on Monday

The new $2.198-million Pugwash Library will open its doors to the public on Monday.
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MLA/Minister to Address Wentworth Concerns

MLA/Minister to Address Wentworth...

MLA/Minister to Address Wentworth Concerns

MLA/Minister to Address Wentworth Concerns

The Protect Wentworth Valley Committee (PWV) will host another public meeting next weekend to press their concerns about the proposed mega wind project for Higgins Mountain.
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Shubenacadie Sam: Go Back to Bed

Shubenacadie Sam: Go Back to Bed

Shubenacadie Sam: Go Back to Bed

Shubenacadie Sam: Go Back to Bed

Shubenacadie Sam says go back to bed for six more weeks of winter.
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Miners Suffer Critical Home Loss

Miners Suffer Critical Home Loss

Miners Suffer Critical Home Loss

Miners Suffer Critical Home Loss

The Springhill Coal Miners dropped an important game before a home crowd on Saturday, as the visiting River Valley Lumberjacks skated to a 4-2 win.
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Shots Fired in Springhill Apartment

Shots Fired in Springhill Apartment

Shots Fired in Springhill Apartment

Shots Fired in Springhill Apartment

The RCMP responded to shots fired within a Springhill apartment on Saturday.
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Town and County Join in Garbage Biz

Town and County Join in Garbage Biz

Town and County Join in Garbage Biz

Town and County Join in Garbage Biz

Big changes to garbage collection in Cumberland County are set for next year.
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Province Funds Local Doctor Search

Province Funds Local Doctor Search

Province Funds Local Doctor Search

Province Funds Local Doctor Search

The provincial government is providing funding to help community organizations recruit and retain healthcare professionals, to the tune of just over $175 thousand dollars in Cumberland County, with Pugwash receiving $25 thousand and change. 
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Catastrophe Awaits on Chignecto Isthmus

Catastrophe Awaits on Chignecto Isthmus

Catastrophe Awaits on Chignecto Isthmus

Catastrophe Awaits on Chignecto Isthmus

Local officials are concerned that senior governments are not moving quickly enough to ward off a catastrophe that is waiting to happen on the Isthmus of Chignecto.
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Top Stories

Raw Emotions at Pugwash Health Care Rally
Bill Martin
/ Categories: News

Raw Emotions at Pugwash Health Care Rally

Demonstrations have been held across the province as people begin to demand attention to the health care crisis, especially in rural Nova Scotia. The issue hit a raw nerve in Pugwash tonight.

Over five hundred people gathered on the lawn of the North Cumberland Hospital tonight and it was clear that the province’s lack of attention to health services is an issue ready to boil over.

Three doctors and a nurse addressed the gathering, each with a different perspective on the crisis, but all agree on the solution.

Dr. Paul Begin says, “We all know we’re in a crisis here. We should have another three full-time doctors.”

The Pugwash facility is closed for at least part of the day, seven days a week. Dr. Begin used to take a shift on Thursdays, but he recently had to reduce that to a part of Thursday. 

In fact, the Pugwash hospital depends on visiting doctors to provide the daytime emergency service. Begin says, “When 58 people show up, in the morning, to see you that day, there is a problem, big problem.”

Begin noted that the doctors who have served the community so well for so long, are getting older. Referring to Dr. Blaikie and Dr. McFarlane, he said, “Who is going to fill-in when we retire. There is no one coming up in the ranks. The government is doing nothing to recruit and retain physicians in the rural areas, absolutely nothing.”

In a dire warning, Dr. Begin said, “I think they (the government) would be happy if all the small community hospitals closed. It would be a money saving thing for them.”

Speaking from a regional perspective, Dr. Murray McCrossin, of Amherst, said, “There is a need for doctors locally, but when they can’t get care here, it all spills over into the regional hospital.”

McCrossin says everybody is contributing, but the shortage of doctors means, “We are one broken leg away from shutting down the program.”

There was an obvious, loud applause at the introduction of Dr. Brian McFarlane, who is the face of the local physician community.

McFarlane says there are six things that we need here: primary care physicians serving the Pugwash Hospital; the emergency department needs Dr. Begin and others to ensure that emergency services are open on a regular and predictable basis; a well staffed regional hospital to cover the more difficult problems; tertiary care in Halifax; a new hospital in Pugwash, as long sought and long promised; and EHS services that can convey patients to and from services as needed.

McFarlane says, “Peoples needs are legitimate. The needs are not going to go away. This place needs to be open on a predictably more regular basis.”

He suggested the process is going forward to solve these problems. However, he noted that the process is slow and what is needed is outcomes. He emphasized, “We need results.”

McFarlane’s summation was a call to the Premier. He said, “We have legitimate needs. We don’t want a Taj Mahal for a hospital. We want a basic hospital. We want to provide for the legitimate needs of the community.”

A Nurse Unleashed

The final speaker was a retired nurse from Springhill who now works in a retirement home. She was invited to speak because her colleagues in Pugwash were warned that they should not speak against their employer.

Bonnie MacNeil (different spelling and no relation to the premier) said she spent 43 years in nursing to get herself to the point where she could ignore a gag order. MacNeil did not disappoint.

The retired nurse called the premier, ”That little dictator,” and she suggested that he would close the Pugwash emergency and he may be looking at the same for Parrsboro, Springhill, and perhaps Tatamagouche.

The speakers had an impact, but it was clear that the people of the area did not need any further encouragement. Hundreds gathered to sign a petition or to get a form letter directed to the premier.

Stephen McNeil stood before the people of the Pugwash area just prior to the last provincial election to announce that shovels would be in the ground in 2018 to build a new new hospital. Few believed him then, and fewer believe him now.

If Stephen McNeil wants to run another election, tonight’s gathering in Pugwash was a warning bell. He has not fooled the people, and without a real and dramatic change of course, his future as premier is dead in the water.

In the attached photo, Dr. Brian McFarlane addresses the crowd in Pugwash about the six needs facing community health care.

The photo below shows the throng that gathered to sign a petition or to receive a form letter to use in communicating with the Premier. The lady in the blue top, centre of photo, was surrounded as she distributed forms.

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2 comments on article "Raw Emotions at Pugwash Health Care Rally"

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terri scott

good on everyone that turned up to rally for better medical care and better availability.

i for one have tried getting in to see a doctor since may.

i unfortuntaely had to miss one i made for july 10th and the next date available was September 18th! in the mean time to get pills for my anxiety filled i have to go to emergency and wait for hours to talk to someone that has no idea what my needs are and how my medications have been affecting me.

my pills have been in conflict for a month now and another prescription is about to run out but even the emergency is shut down half the week now and i cant hardly get in for a refill let alone talk to someone that has seen me before and kniws what alterations can help me.

explaining your anxiety issues over and over to different doctors/nurses does nothing but cause more anxieties as i myself am not sure whats typical side effects of the medication or if its actually not doing the job its taken for.

i had a family doctor all my life that knew my problems and could better help me, and my babied when i had them. but now that hes retired theres no one.

we need family doctors!


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Geoff de Gannes

Bill,

Just an observation … well balanced "news story" about the health care crisis until you got to the last section about the Premier. That is your own personal opinion and shouldn't be part of a "news story". You should have saved that section for your opinion piece.

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Radio This Week

Event List
Tuesday, January 3, 2023 12:00 AM

Listen to Morning Talk Replay. Click HERE to listen to recent interviews from our archive.

Saturday, February 4, 2023 8:00 PM

Saturday Night in a Harbour Town, featuring traditional East Coast music, airs every Saturday at 8 pm on Six Rivers All Hit Radio and Six Rivers Country.

Sunday, February 5, 2023 9:00 AM

Sunday Wrap, the week in review, is aired on the Six Rivers Radio Network every Sunday morning. Listen at 9:00.

Sunday, February 5, 2023 2:00 PM

A special replay of Saturday Night in a Harbour Town with host Eric MacEwen is heard every Sunday at 2 pm on Six Rivers All Hit Music and Six Rivers Country.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 9:45 AM

Dr. Stephen Ellis, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester will be on Morning Talk every second Tuesday. Listen at 9:45.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 9:05 AM

Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources, is on Morning Talk each Wednesday at 9:05.

Thursday, February 9, 2023 9:05 AM

Murray Scott, Mayor of Cumberland County, is on Morning Talk every Thursday. Listen at 9:05.

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Events This Week

Saturday, February 4, 2023 10:00 AM

Pickle Ball is played every Saturday from 10 am to noon at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Sunday, February 5, 2023 2:00 PM

Hope Centre Online is a worship service every Sunday at 2:15 pm. Click HERE to join on Zoom. The room opens at 2 pm.

Sunday, February 5, 2023 3:00 PM

Yoga is held every Sunday at 3 pm at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Monday, February 6, 2023 10:00 AM

Pickle Ball is played every Monday from 10 am to noon at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 1:00 PM

Walk and Talk is held every Tuesday at 1 pm at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 10:00 AM

Pickle Ball is played every Wednesday from 10 am to noon at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 11:00 AM

The Pugwash Fire Department will host a COVID Vaccine Drop-in Clinic from 11 am to 2 pm for those 5 years and over. No appointment necessary.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 6:00 PM

Pugwash Fire Department Toonie Draw, the 50/50 community fundraiser. Click HERE for details.

Thursday, February 9, 2023 11:00 AM

The Wallace Community Centre will host a COVID Vaccine Drop-in Clinic from 11 am to 2 pm for those aged 5 and over. No appointment is necessary.

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