New health-care centre to replace aging medical clinic in Middleton, N.S.

Premier Stephen McNeil announced Tuesday that construction of a new primary health-care centre beside Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Middleton, N.S., is set to begin this fall.

The new health centre will replace the aging medical clinic next to the hospital.

According to the Nova Scotia government, the current building is not meeting the needs of the collaborative family practice team.

There is also not enough space to expand the team, which is expected to include additional doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals.

McNeil announced the new centre on the front lawn of the Soldiers Memorial Hospital, saying the centre will improve working conditions for health professionals, help recruit new doctors and nurse practitioners and better support training for medical residents.

The new building will be about six times larger than the existing one.

It will have more exam rooms and meeting rooms, a larger registration and waiting area and new space for health professionals visiting the centre and to offer group medical visits for patients, along with more space for training medical residents.

“Improving access to primary care for Nova Scotians and recruiting more family doctors and other health professionals are priorities for our organization, and this investment to build a new primary health-care centre in Middleton supports our ongoing efforts,” said Janet Knox, president and CEO of the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

“We know many new primary health-care professionals want to work in team-based care, and this purpose-built clinic will support collaboration and the delivery of comprehensive primary health care for patients.”

The total cost of the new primary health-care centre is about $12 million. The Soldiers Memorial Hospital Foundation has committed $1 million towards the project.

“A fundraising campaign will be initiated by the foundation to help increase access to primary care within the catchment area and improve health-care services with the support of the community,” said chair Jim Mosher.

Construction is expected to take about a year to complete.

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