Canso EHS service is concerning – warden

GUYSBOROUGH: Councillors in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) are calling for a meeting with representatives with Emergency Health Services (EHS).

Starting their regular municipal council meeting on November 18, Janet Peitzsche, the municipality’s deputy warden, told her fellow councillors about a complaint one of her constituents brought to her about EHS service in Canso.

In September, a patient waited seven hours at the Eastern Memorial Hospital in Canso for an EHS ambulance for a transfer to Antigonish with appendicitis. During the wait, the appendix burst and resulted in a prolonged recovery time after surgery.

Vernon Pitts, Guysborough’s warden, said following the meeting the complaint is concerning and they’ve had similar concerns in the past.

“We want some answers, there’s a disconnect here – they’re telling us one thing, but in all actuality, other things are happening,” he said. “We want to get this straightened out sooner rather than later.”

Municipal councillors passed a motion requesting EHS officials come to a future meeting to answer their questions, and to once again discuss the long-standing issues around service in the municipality.

Pitts said they’ve heard from EHS officials in the past but councillors were not pleased with the details they were able to obtain from them.

“You get them in and you start talking about a case – it could be our neighbour or a family member – and they [say they] can’t discuss it because it’s confidential,” he said. “This has got to stop – we’ve got to have the discussion.”

If the situation doesn’t improve, the municipality is prepared to take their concerns to the province’s health minister if necessary.

“As warden, anytime you get a complaint like that – one complaint is too many,” Pitts concluded.