The History of Long and Brier Islands

OUR MEDICAL CRISIS

by | Apr 19, 2022 | ambulance, Brier Island, doctors, Long Island, people | 0 comments

Our Medical Crisis

The picture I chose to represent this blog, is a piece of glass Leta and I made for the “Dalhousie University, as a fund raiser for under-funded medical students.

         This “Medical Crisis” that we are in today in this province is not something Islanders have gone through for over a half century now. Although now the rest of the province has caught up to us.

         Recently my brother-in-law suffered a stroke, while at home, who was just recently released from the hospital after undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer. He had been taking these treatments for over seven weeks, and so he was very weak and in poor health.

         His wife had called 911 after first recognizing that something was not right with her husband. She then called us as we live next door. Twenty minutes had gone by and no ambulance. She then called 911 again asking “where is the ambulance?”. The answer was “we are not allowed to say”.

         There have been other incidents locally where the ambulance had been called and it has taken hours before showing up. Some Islanders feel that not having the ambulance here when needed has caused loss of life.

         We did not know where the ambulance was coming from or how long it would take to get here, so we decided to transport him ourselves. Which we were told by the 911 operator not to do. As it happened to be, the ambulance this time was coming from Digby, about three quarters to one hour away. On some occasions it has come from the Bridgewater area. That would have taken approximately three hours.

         To make a long story short ,we meet the ambulance at the ferry, transferred him to the ambulance, and they took him from there.

         Most of the time we don’t have our local hospital (Digby General) open, as they are always without Doctors or Nurses, and sometimes both. They say it is because of Covid-19, but this was happening long before the pandemic. I think the messages they send out about their facility being closed, they should send a message out saying when they are open. They are closed a lot more than they are open.

When Did Our Medical Crisis Start?

         Our Islands first Doctor arrived in 1839. His name was Dr. White. Before we had doctors, each village had a ‘Grannie Doctor”(grannie women) who was  first taught by local Mi’Kmaq. We have always managed to have a doctor for our two islands until 1970. (For more information on our early Doctors go to my blog  “History of Grannie Women & Doctors”)

         I would like to talk on why there had been so many doctors that came to our Islands in those early years. In 1901 our Islands population was 2314, we had four doctors practicing at Freeport, not counting the other two villages who each had their own doctors. Doctors were performing surgeries at Freeport at that time and we even had our own drug store. It is believed by some this is when our Islands were at their peak.

         Our Islands was situated in the center of the fishing grounds. Islanders made a fair living from the sea, some were quite well off, yet some couldn’t pay their bills. Doctors were paid by the patients in those early days. I remember Dr. Cameron MacDonald who was our doctor here from 1951 to July 1956, wrote a book about being a doctor here, it was named “Island Doctor”. In the book he says he was paid by Lobsters and chicken. I don’t think a person who had invested in an education to help people could exist very long today with those conditions.

         On April 1st 1969 MSI came into effect, so after this date the doctors services rendered to the patient was paid for by our Government, which was paid for with a health tax we now had to pay. Doctors were now guaranteed their pay. It wasn’t long after this our Islands started getting in trouble trying to get doctors. The fee the government paid the doctors was for each fifteen minute office call, the doctors would receive x amount for the visit. The doctors needed to have around three thousand patients in order for this way of paying would be enough for a doctor to stay. Specialized doctors were paid a different rate.

Ambulances

         In 1969 the ambulance members joined together and formed “The Ambulance Operators Association of Nova Scotia” (AOANS). I was # 41 in this association.

          In 1970 it was required that a high-rise van be used as the number one vehicle. It was also required that we were to have a backup vehicle for when the main ambulance was in service. Our territory covered these two Islands, up to and including Sandy Cove.

         On November 27th 1970 the citizens of Freeport, Tiverton and Westport had an emergency meeting at the Islands Consolidated School, to deal with what could be one of the greatest crisis the Islands ever faced and that was being without a doctor.

         Our doctor at that time was Dr. John D. Meehan who had come to our Islands in April 1969. In September 1970 Dr. Meehan had decided to move on to another area to practice. It was normal for the out-going doctor to ask around for a replacement for his area. Dr. Meehan had tried everywhere to find a replacement doctor.

         It was thought by the residents that if the Islands had their own residence for a doctor and an office ,it may help in attracting a doctor.

         At a December 1970 meeting, Islanders found out it was not legal to purchase a doctors residence by taxation. An alternative was decided to form a company called “The Islands Medical Centre”. 1800 shares were to be sold at $10.00 a share, with a limit of 100 shares to any one person.

         Dr. Meehan left on 17 December 1970 and Dr. Andrew Weir an original Islander came back to our Islands to temporary fill in as our doctor until we could find a replacement.

         In January our MLA Joe Casey had persuaded our government to supply us with our first nurse. Mrs. Marie duPlessis was a graduate nurse from Cape Town, South Africa. She worked out of her home in Freeport. Another solution the government came out with is they would give a grant to doctors for isolation payment, and also find equipment for medical use.

         In July 1971 Dr. Andrew Weir had to leave us to tend to his own practice in Yarmouth, which left us with-out a doctor again.

         Not having a doctor here sure put a strain on the ambulance, transporting patients to Digby Hospital and beyond.

         January 1971 a new doctor started a practice on our Islands. His name was Dr. Godbole and he stayed until July 1971. Leaving us with-out a doctor again.

         In April 1972 our public health nurse Mrs. Marie duPlesses, left and then we found ourselves all alone with only the help of the ambulance.

         September 1972 our worries were starting to be over for a while, but we didn’t know it at the time, a tourist staying at the “Double O Campgrounds” in Central Grove was going to be the answer to all our prayers. A doctor from Kerrobert, Sask. had found his way down to our Islands. He and his family were enjoying our Islands, and when they found out the Islands was in need of a doctor. They made their minds up, then and there, this was the place for them. They had to go back to Saskatchewan to close his practice there and then they moved down to our Islands.

Dr. Alan Kenneth Stokes

1932-June 3rd1982

         In early November the Stokes family arrived in a motor-home and behind them was a Jaguar car being towed by the motor-home. The family was, Dr. Alan Kenneth Stokes L.R.C.P. , M.R.C.S., Mrs. Bridget (Grayson) Stokes, Lucinda, Catherine and Christopher, their children. Arrangements beforehand had been made that they would stay at the Ted and Anne Laugher’s home down two houses from the Legion on the opposite side of the street. The family lived in the motor-home behind the house and they used the house as the office. Dr. Stokes set up his office, with Bridget taking appointments, and being the receptionist. Our population around this time was around 1350, some of our residents had gone so long without a doctor, had found it necessary to find a doctor in Digby. Some of those chose Dr. Stokes as their doctor, a few kept their doctor in Digby as they were not sure if Dr. Stokes would stay with us like other doctors of the past.

New Doctor Arrives

Digby Courier; Nov. 9th 1972

Dr. Alan Stokes Office Hours

( You can see Dr. Stokes was doing house calls too.)

Digby Courier; Nov. 11th 1972

         We had a Doctor at last, Islanders were very thankful for this. I remember the string of cars parked along the road and in the parking lot of Lloyds Theatre and Dance Hall, Islanders with medical problems. Dr. Stokes was very busy at first trying to get tests done for patients that had medical problems and trying to obtain a medical history on each of his patients. I remember after Dr. Stokes arrived, when I would transport any of his patients to the hospital, he would write this long letter to go with the patient, with the patients’ medical history. So the next doctor that the patient was seen by, would have the necessary information to treat the patient. I remember some of these hospital doctors would comment by saying that “Dr. Stokes certainly cared about his patients by this added information and some saying this helps a lot.”

         I remember an incident in January 1973 where I was very thankful to have Dr. Stokes and Bridget here with us.

         I was at our community hall, upstairs in the Odd Fellows Room in one of our meetings. Someone came knocking at the door asking for me, that I needed to go to the doctors residence, and that he needed me right away. Warren and Mildred MacIntyre was in Halifax on a call, and I had the spare ambulance.

         Upon arrival Dr. Stokes told me I had a maternity call and that the patient was going to deliver anytime. I had the MacIntyre’s red Ford station wagon, I loaded the patient on the stretcher and placed her in the ambulance and just as I was about to leave, Dr. Stokes said wait until I give you the equipment to deliver the baby on route. He said you will probably need to deliver the baby by the time you get to East Ferry Hill. After he had loaded the instruments for delivery, he then said,” I will re-examine her again”. Then he said “Bring her in the house the baby is coming now”. I will never forget that night, Dr. Stokes, Bridget, and I delivering a baby girl, on the kitchen table. Bridget was a nurse before she left England. Dr. Stokes and Bridget’s two daughters on the stairway watching us bring new life to our Islands. After the delivery I took the mother and baby to the hospital. The baby in a bureau drawer, the placenta in a cardboard box.

          This call I have thought about a number of times over the years. I have been caught in similar situations as this and did ok, but I was truly grateful to Dr. Stokes and Bridget that night.

The House to the Right is the Old Doctors House

         Dr. Stokes moved into the old doctors house in the spring of 1973, this house was across from the Baptist Church in Freeport. He had to fix this house up a bit as it was run down at that time. He had his office in the back where other Island doctors had used.

         It wasn’t long after this Dr. Stokes started looking for a house that he and Bridget could remodel for a home and office. They found this house just across the cove from where they lived. They moved in 1974 and rebuilt the house into the home and office they wanted.

The House that is to the far right is the house Dr. Stokes bought.

Dr. Alan and Bridget Stokes House & Office at Freeport

         Today in our province of Nova Scotia we have a phone number to call if you need medical advice, that number is 811. Well back in the seventies we had a number to call for medical advice and that number was 116, the Stokes residents. If you needed the doctor, that was the number to call, if you needed medical advice you asked for Bridget. She was always there to help you with your questions, and if she didn’t know she would find the answer. They both helped Islanders coping with their medical issues.

        Besides being our doctor Dr. Stokes took it up himself of getting a place going where Islanders could socialize. In the fall of 1973 Dr. Stokes met with some Islands Legion members in an effort at trying to get a social gathering place established as none was available for the Islands at that time.

Digby Courier; Dec. 20th 1973

         A lot of effort went in the formation of this meeting place, a place that still exist today. Dr. Alan Stokes was the first president and was instrumental in making it a success for our communities.

         On June 3rd 1982 the Islands had a big loss, one that we still feel the effects of today.  That was the loss of life of our longest staying Island doctor and friend, Dr. Stokes.

         Dr. Stokes had been suffering from a heart condition for a number of years previous and still was looking after other Islanders medical problems.        He had gone to Toronto a few years before and was diagnosed as having a coronary blockage. These blockage repairs were only in there experimental stage, and only done at Toronto at that time. His chances then was 50\50 and the odds was against him. He chose not to have a repair done then.

         So on June 3rd 1982, Dr. Stokes was called out for a house call where a man was having problems with his heart. I was called to transport this man to Digby General. Dr. Stokes told me he wasn’t feeling well and was going home to rest. After he got home, he received another call and was in route to that call when he had a massive heart attack and passed away before the car reached the ditch. My wife (Leta) was called with the other ambulance, but even though CPR was started immediately, Dr. Stokes life had stopped.

Digby Courier; June 15th 1982

By Leta Stark

1983

ICS Media Centre

1991

The Province of Nova Scotia stopped granting isolation pay for doctors.

Freeport Builds a Medical Centre Opens November 1991

        Freeport went ahead and built its own Dr.’s Office in 1991 hoping to attract doctors to our area (Islands Medical Center). We were only able to find some part time doctors that came down to our Islands every now and again for a few hours at a time. The subsidy that the government had supplied to doctors was now removed, and so then, we was lucky for the doctors that did come here. After a few years even the part time doctors stopped coming, and the Medical center closed and was sold.

Islands Medical Center

1992

History of Digby General Hospital up until years end 1991

Digby Courier; January 29th 1992

The Digby General Hospital

History

         The Digby General was founded in 1925 as a small cottage Hospital on the corner of Warwick and West Streets.

         In 1930 through efforts of public spirited citizens a new building was erected. When completed this building had some 20 beds and combined living quarters for the nursing staff.

         The urgent need for larger accommodations led to the erection of the nurses’ home early in 1944. Around this time that C.F.B. Cornwallis had been constructed and Harry F. McLean, contractor from Ontario for the Dominion Construction Company Ltd., had been working at H.M.C.S. Cornwallis for 18 months. He gave $10,000 to the people of Digby for construction of a nurse’s residence for Digby General Hospital.

          Following the opening of the Nurses Residence, hospital facilities were expanded to include 45 beds. Under emergency conditions as many as 59 patients had been hospitalized at one time. This situation necessitated the setting up of corridor beds.

          In 1949,the old Digby Hospital Trust was changed by an act to incorporate the Digby General Hospital.

          In the late 50s the need was evident to expand again. This could well have been due to the extended catchment area of the families and personnel working at the Cornwallis base. The present hospital was open in 1965 with a capacity for 90 adult beds and 19 nursery bassinets.

AS OF August 1991 the Statistics for the Digby General Hospital were as follows:

          The changes in health care practices over the years have lessened the need for a Pediatric Unit and in the last 10 years the Maternity Unit has decreased in occupancy with shorter stay period following normal deliveries.

          The present services provided include the following: 1. Acute Care Patient beds- 65 adult- 3 Pediatric and 9 bassinet. These beds include:

     9- Maternity

      5- Special Care Unit

     17- Surgical/O.R.

      31- Medical

       3- Pediatric

2. Emergency Department has also:

     2- trauma room beds

     1- minor O. R. room

     4- examining rooms

     1-cast room

     2-OPD observation Beds

3. Ambulatory Beds: 4- Day Surgery

4. Diagnostic Inpatient and Outpatient services for community:

– lab

-X-ray

-Physio

-EKG

5. Clinic Services:

-Consultants for Specialty diagnosis

 -Speech Therapy

– Drug Dependency

– Mental Health

– Diabetic Day Care

– Dietitian (outpatient)

– Paraplegic

-Social Worker

6. Support Service for inpatients and community needs:

– Dietary (Meals on Wheels)

– Pharmacy ( Mental Health)

– Housekeeping

– Laundry (children’s Home)

– Plant Maintenance and Operation

– Public Health Clinics

– Health Care Records

– Admitting – Reception

7.  Day Hospital- In 1988 permission was granted to open a Day Hospital. This service is used to meet specific patient needs that do not require acute care beds. Patients attend a daily basis for services prescribed by the family physician.

         The hospital employs personnel for 165 full-time equivalent positions but with shared processions there are 205 persons on the payroll.

1994

Transformation of Nova Scotia’s Health Care System Began

Some History First

        In 1993, Cape Breton Island Native Dr. Ron Stewart, who was instrumental in organizing “Emergency Health Services”( EHS) in southern California earlier in his career during the 1970s was elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly and was appointed Minister of Health. Dr. Stewart quickly commissioned several reports on health care reform, one of which was conducted by Mike Murphy, the director of emergency services at the Isaac Walton Killam Children’s Hospital which offered a comprehensive evaluation on the state of the province’s ambulances.

        The recommendations of the Murphy Report were subsequently adopted and by 1994 the transformation of Nova Scotia’s health care system began, with the provincial government taking over control of ground operations and consolidating it into a single entity called “Emergency Health Services”(EHS).

        In 1995 there was 50 private and public ambulance operators in Nova Scotia. EHS started taking them over and one of the last ambulance companies to succumb to this take over was our “Long & Brier Island Ambulance” here for our two Islands in 2000.The government said they could do better. My question is “Is EHS an American Company?”

        EHS now comes down to our Islands once in a while now, not stationed here as our ambulances once were. Now when we call 911 for an ambulance and we ask, “where is the ambulance? And 911 responds, “we are not allowed to say”. Is this system better?

“The McCleave Medical Centre”

        Digby built their own medical center behind the Digby General Hospital, It was called “The McCleave Medical Centre”. They had 5 or 6 doctors that had offices where patients were seen by these doctors. One Friday night after the offices were closed the wreckers came in and took the medical center out, not leaving a trace it had ever been there. When Monday morning came and patients went to see their doctors there was no doctor’s office. Very strange, of our Health Board, not letting anyone know this was going to happen. Today this area is a Helicopter Landing Pad for the Digby General.

Dr. J. Cameron MacDonald M.D., F.R.C.P.C.

Jan. 30th 1925- Jan. 28th 2021

(Friend and Our Island Doctor)

June 1951-July 1956

Author “The Islands Doctor”

Dr. MacDonald writes in his book what it was like here on our Islands being our family doctor. These are his words from his book……….

        Now in my twilight time, after 57 years in the practice of medicine, first as a country doctor and later specializing in radiology, it is interesting to reflect on the differences. Both are subject to the regulations of the provincial licensing authority. The country doctor has a slower pace and the opportunity to know, not only his patient’s illnesses, but also their trials, tribulations, ambitions and dreams. He is friend, companion, neighbor, and partner in village-hall card games.

        To be a successful country doctor one has to like people and want to know them better. He/she has to make independent decisions and often consult with colleagues on different cases by telephone. Country medicine is a learning experience; it focuses on doctor’s attention and makes him or her live closely with successes, failures and even mistakes. It requires a certain personality, a willingness to live a simple and rewarding lifestyle as a revered, respected and admired pillar of the community.

        In 1950s there was, by today standards, a relatively confined body of medical knowledge. Today, with modern technology and the explosion of scientific knowledge, specialization is necessary and many specialties are subdivided to the point of doctors knowing more and more about less and less. In this rush for knowledge, information and power, the “whole patient” can be forgotten in comments like, “Doctor, there’s a breast biopsy in room 3,” or “There’s a colonoscopy in room 4.”

        We are inclined to forget that the patient is a person, lying semi-nude on the examining table, exposed to the gaze of a lot of blase people she doesn’t know. She is alone in a crowd and feels she hasn’t a friend in the world. She has been stripped of her clothes, her dignity and personal security. She has been given a wrinkled hospital gown with knotted or missing ties and is, to say the least, worried that the medical test will reveal something serious….. and then who will look after her kids, her husband, their mortgage, and a myriad of other things. No one seems to care unless there’s a family doctor involved.

         The country doctor would already know the family situation, their worries, their aspirations, and even the family dog! His is the shoulder to lean on. He is the consultant, the interpreter of the test results, the friend in need; he fills the adopted and trusted grandfather role. He is not only needed, he is wanted and more dependent upon than anyone else in the whole world… and that makes country medicine very rewarding.

         The specialists in medicine provides the expert knowledge required in today’s complex medical world. Patients are referred to him/her by other doctors and he/she reports back to a family doctor, who then reports to the person most concerned, the apprehensive patient. This reporting practice, in my view, having been both a country general practitioner in an isolated community and a specialist in a moderately sized city, is more satisfying as a country doctor.

        At the risk of causing controversy, is my considered opinion that all medical graduates, whatever field they choose, should spend some part of their internship or residency as a country doctor in order to develop sensitivity to the needs and souls of the people they will treat for the rest of their lives. I would remind every medical graduate that you have only one life to live, so enjoy it to the fullest. Try rural medicine, even for a short time and if you are the type of person to fit into that particular lifestyle you will not make as much money as your urban colleagues, but you will be rich and recorded  in many other ways. And, if you decide country practice is not for you, the experience will still make you a better doctor, either as a specialist or an urban general practitioner.

My Thoughts about our Medical Crisis

Physicians’ Oath

(Hippocrates, 460- 377 BC)

I swear by Apollo Physician, and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgement, this oath … ,That I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgement, but never with a view to injury or wrongdoing. Neither will I administer poison to any­body when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause an abor­tion … .In whatever house I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrongdoing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman. And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, if it be what should it be published abroad, I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets. Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain forever reputation among all men for my life and for my art.

        My first thought is “how did this get so out of hand”. My second thought is “is it because we do not need a Family Doctor no more?” I will start with my second thought first.

Do we need a family doctor?

        I think from the moment a person starts to show signs of life, we need help to exist. As we change from childhood to adults, we need that help. From our adult life to our senior life we need help. The help I am talking about is the help of the educated doctor, who has learned how to help you through your life. A doctors job is to help you on this journey through life. Everyone has a life expectancy and his job is to get you there. Although some are shorter than others. I don’t think we need doctors less now with all the advancements in medical health, doctors are more knowledgeable and have different and better ways for treatments. Most of the time, with treatments, the sooner the better. Until the day comes when you say to yourself, when you have a medical problem, “where can I find a doctor” I think that is when most people will say “I wish I had a doctor”.

How did this get so out of hand!

        I think this problem we are talking about, “Our Medical Crisis”, is the result of some very poor decisions that has been made in our health care over the last half century. Why I say half century, that is when it started to show here on Long and Brier Islands. Digby and the rest of Nova Scotia started showing their problems about the mid-nineties.

        Let us start with the first mistake. On April 1st 1969 Nova Scotia started to pay doctors pay for our doctor’s visits through a fund called MSI. The Government paid a doctor x amount of dollars for a determined amount of time. The time would be fifteen minutes. This was the first problem or mistake. Every one does not have the same medical issues going on at the at the same time, so some patients may need longer with the doctor than what the government said it had to be. The government had determined that a doctor needed to have at least three thousand patients for this to work. That may be good in thought but not in the real world. They didn’t take in consideration that a doctor is human too. They get sick, they get tired out, they become injured, all the same issues as others. It is not just the doctors that take these funds home with then, the doctors have to pay for their previous education( for 10 or more years education, it costs a lot of money), office space, their receptionist, their equipment, and their attendance to all the conferences and educational facilities (they have to keep up to all the new medical changes). Islanders knew we were in trouble right from the start, when we were trying to recruit new doctors.

        I agree with Dr. MacDonald when he states that medical graduates, whatever field they choose, should spend some or part of their internship or residency as a country doctor in order to develop sensitivity to the needs and souls of the people they will treat for the rest of their lives.

        I also think the government cancelling the money paid to outpost doctors was a mistake too. There is not that many outpost areas in this province that they would have had to pay for this service. Do they want everyone to live in Halifax?

        I think doctors should not  have to take on a larger lot of patients than they can handle. This numbers game that the government has implemented has said a doctor needs to meet in order to survive a doctor should not be followed.

        Our nurses should not have to take on the role of a doctor. If they had the same training and experience as our doctors they should be doctors and paid accordingly. Health Boards are putting too much responsibility to our nurses. It is the Health Boards taking advantage of our system putting lower paid people in higher paid positions.

        Now for the ambulance cut backs or lack of ambulances. In 1994 the government of Nova Scotia began the transformation of Nova Scotia’s Health Care System. Why was the 50 private and public ambulances turfed out of business so that a company from the USA can come in and take over our province? Was it because the government of the time didn’t want to deal with the 50 private and public companies, and preferred to deal with one entity? What are the plans for the future of the ambulance for this area?

        The McCleave Medical Center at Digby was a going concern before it was mysteriously torn down one weekend without explanation as to why. It wasn’t because the building was old, it was fairly new, as far as I can guess it was because the hospital board wanted the doctors to have their offices in Digby General Hospital to occupy some of the spaces left by closing of some of the hospitals previous services and facilities.

        When I think of our Digby General Hospital, of what it was like in its golden days. This was not so long ago, 1991 to be exact. I have showed you what all it had in a short history that was in the local paper of 1992. How could all this be taken away in just 31 years?

        When I think of Digby General today, the first thing I think of “is it open today if I need it”? It is classified in our minds as a Band-Aid station, where you may be seen first, and then sent on to somewhere else for treatment.

        If someone on our Islands was needing medical help, you would have to go to either Yarmouth Regional Hospital which is (98 miles or 158 km and would take you at least 2 hrs.) or you could go to Valley Regional Hospital ( 118 miles or 190 km. and would take 2.5 hours ) these distances and times are from our first Island, now if you lived on our second Island, Brier Island  you would have to add in more time for the ferry, this could be from ½ to 1 hour more. I do not think anyone else in the province of Nova Scotia has to travel this distance to receive medical help  in the year 2022.

         The government thinks it has a housing shortage now in and around Halifax (2022), maybe they haven’t taken in consideration, if the rest of  Nova Scotia’s population moved to their location in order to get medical help to survive. Maybe they should take that in consideration also.

        I do not know what the answer to all of this. I think we have gone nearly 360 degrees in our health care since our beginning here on these Islands, do we need to start again with our Grannie Women or Grannie Doctors as we did at our start? The problem is, we had the local Mi’Kmaq to teach these Grannie Women before, who teaches them this time with a new start?

        I think government could start by talking to some of our country doctors that have retired, they know the system and what is wrong with it. The same goes for the nurses, talk to them. It doesn’t cost anything to listen.

If residents of Nova Scotia don’t like what is going on, or if the people do not like their health care as it is, they have the choice, to voice their complaint. This will never be fixed if we do not complain. I remember the old saying “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

        Another good read on this subject is Dr. J. Cameron MacDonald’s book “The Island Doctor” it is about a country doctors life, just after graduation.

        Go on my blog here and look for “Dr. J. Cameron MacDonald “The Island Doctor” This doctor and family loved it here too.

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