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‘It’s going to be a nightmare’: Doctor calls on province to restore 24/7 emergency room

Click to play video: 'Doctor at Sainte-Anne-de-Kent’s hospital calls on province to restore 24/7 ER' Doctor at Sainte-Anne-de-Kent’s hospital calls on province to restore 24/7 ER
WATCH: A New Brunswick doctor is calling on the province to restore 24/7 emergency services at the Stella Marie de Kent Hospital in Saint-Anne-de-Kent, NB. Global’s Shelley Steeves reports – Feb 14, 2020

Dr. Michelle LeBlanc is calling on the New Brunswick government to restore 24/7 emergency services at the Stella Marie de Kent Hospital.

Dr. LeBlanc owns a family practice and treats acute care patients at the hospital. She says she was shocked when the province cut overnight emergency services at the rural hospital that has been treating patients in the community for more than 50 years.

“It is going to be a nightmare,” she said. “We are worried about the critical ailments that can happen in the middle of the night.”

“Minutes save lives, save muscle of your heart, save your brain and save your life.” she said.

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Dr. LeBlanc says if patients in the region have to travel 45 minutes to an hour to get emergency care in Moncton or Miramichi, people’s lives could be at risk.

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She adds that the province’s move to switch acute care beds to long-term care beds is only going to cause a further backlog in care for all patients.

“Pneumonia, dehydration and infection that we are treating here will go to Moncton, so it is going to overcharge the doctors in Moncton,” said Dr. LeBlanc.

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PC MLA Bruce Northrup warns he won’t support N.B. healthcare changes – Feb 13, 2020

Dr. LeBlanc said that 13 family physicians in the community treat their patients at the hospital for medical care that may require a few days of hospitalization. She said that she is currently treating 37 patients with only 20 bed and some patients are having to be treated in the halls on stretchers.

She added that their acute care department should remain open because the need is great in the community and transferring patients to Moncton or Miramichi will require ambulatory transport, which is already lacking in the province.

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“When they are being used for transport to Moncton they are not available for emergencies in Kent County” she said “It is going to be a logistical nightmare”

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Dr. LeBlanc says that more than half of their 20 beds are being taken up by local seniors waiting for placements in nursing homes, so the provinces plan to move seniors waiting for care to rural hospitals isn’t realistic a solution.

“What I know is medicine, and we are worried,” she said.

She says health-care reform is needed, but the province should be focused on improving access to senior care, not slashing life saving and vital medical services in rural communities.

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