As part of the province’s plan to strengthen health care in rural Saskatchewan, the province has announced it is exploring the implementation of Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs) as an approach to provide emergency and primary health care.
Saskatchewan’s Minister responsible for Rural and Remote Health Randy Weekes has just wrapped up a visit to Nova Scotia, where he toured Collaborative Emergency Centres to gain a first-hand perspective on operations and applicability in Saskatchewan. Weekes was accompanied by Dr. Vino Padayachee, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA).
“I am very excited to learn about the potential the Collaborative Emergency Centre model holds for Saskatchewan as a way to address the challenges of health care delivery in rural and remote communities,” Weekes says. “Interest in this model of care has been steadily growing over the past months, and we are optimistic the CECs could benefit Saskatchewan residents. I am particularly pleased Dr. Padayachee with the SMA was able to join me and I look forward to working closely with other health care providers as we consider this new team-based approach to care.”
“This is an opportunity for Saskatchewan physicians to study ideas that are being deployed in other parts of the country and then look at the possibility of adapting and implementing them in similar settings in our province,” SMA President Dr. Janet Shannon adds.
“We hope these ideas will put us on the path to improving the patient-first model of care and we look forward to hearing back from Dr. Padayachee to learn how Collaborative Emergency Care can be applied in Saskatchewan.”
Delegates from Nova Scotia will be in Saskatchewan this fall to present to a broad audience, including health care and municipal stakeholders, and share their first hand experience with this innovative approach to health care.
Collaborative Emergency Centres are designed to enhance access to high quality, comprehensive primary care that is capable of dealing with unexpected illness or injury in a timely fashion.
Nova Scotia has been implementing this model in communities where maintaining 24-7 emergency service is difficult.
CECs are open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and are staffed by a primary health care team during the day and a team that includes a nurse and a paramedic, with physician oversight through the emergency health system, during the night. The benefits of the CEC model include: improved access, shorter waiting lists, same day appointments, reducing number of visits to emergency rooms and increased patient satisfaction.
“Collaborative Emergency Centres are an innovative, made in Nova Scotia approach to providing emergency care in Nova Scotia,” Nova Scotia Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson comments. “I am pleased Saskatchewan has decided to explore our model to provide better care sooner to residents in rural and remote parts of their province.”
Adapting the elements of Nova Scotia’s Collaborative Emergency Centre model is one of the recommendations of the first report of the Health Care Innovation Working Group, led by Premiers Brad Wall and Robert Ghiz. The report was released today at the Council of the Federation meeting in Halifax.
This innovative way of delivering health care also aligns with Saskatchewan’s recently announced initiative to strengthen its primary health care system says Nilson. The goal of the initiative is achieving a primary health care model that is sustainable, offers a superior patient experience and ensures better access to services.
For more information on Primary Health Care in Saskatchewan visit the Ministry of Health website at: www.health.gov.sk.ca/primary-health-care.