The National Post published an article last Friday about collaborative emergency centres (CECs) in rural Nova Scotia. These CECs don’t have a doctor on staff overnight, but instead rely on nurses and paramedics during the less busy hours of 8:00pm-8:00am (with a doctor available for consultation by telephone). During the day, the doctor (or a group of doctors) cover the busier 12-hour shift in the CECs. The decrease in overnight emergency shifts allows the doctors more time to work in their clinics, and the wait time to see a general practitioner has reportedly dropped from 5 weeks to 48 hours!
What do you think about this approach to the challenges in rural health service delivery?