Non-urgent cases at Emergency: why wait when there are other options?

Bathurst, Wednesday, June 2, 2021 – Vitalité Health Network would like to inform the public that starting June 7, anyone who goes to Emergency at:

  • Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre;
  • Stella-Maris-de-Kent Hospital;
  • Chaleur Regional Hospital;
  • Tracadie Hospital; and
  • Enfant-Jésus RHSJ† Hospital

for a non-urgent issue will have the option of being directed, if they so wish, to a medical clinic, family physician or nurse practitioner and will receive an offer for care within 48 hours.

This initiative aims to help patients avoid waiting for hours at Emergency and to ensure the right service at the right time and right place. “Patients who go to Emergency for a non-urgent issue often have difficulty obtaining access to a primary care provider in a timely fashion,” stated Mr. Jacques Duclos, Vice-President of Community Services and Mental Health. “We are very proud of this project and we hope that the public will take advantage of this new organization of care,” he added. 

It is important to clarify that any patient who accepts this offer has the right to come back to the Emergency for the same initial reasons or if their condition gets worse before their scheduled appointment in the community. If it is impossible to get an appointment or to schedule a visit within 48 hours, the patient is invited to remain in Emergency. Patients who do not have an urgent issue and still want to stay in Emergency may do so, but they will need to have patience. 

“I thank the physicians and nurse practitioners who have agreed to participate in this initiative by reserving blocks in their schedules for providing care to patients within 48 hours,” said Mr. Duclos. The Network will expand this initiative to the Emergency Departments of the Northwest and Restigouche zones over the coming months.