Premier of Nova Scotiahas confirmed that the province will have its second medical school.
Houston made the announcement at his state of the province address in Sydney, NS, on Friday.
“The rumors are true,” Houston said. “By the fall of 2025, there will be a medical school in Cape Breton.”
This came just months after Cape Breton University began a campaign to support the opening of a medical school on the island.
in aGlobal News reported that the university consulted local doctors and more than 80 community leaders over the past year who supported the idea.
Gordon MacInnis, the university’s vice president of finance and operations, said the time was right for a new medical campus.
“We hope to come up with some very innovative solutions to have a real impact not only in Cape Breton, but in rural Nova Scotia as well,” MacInnis said in the November interview.
‘The timing is right’: Cape Breton University campaigns to open a medical campus
Former NFL player Jessie Lemonier dies at 25
At the time, Nova Scotia Health said in an email that it “has been consulted with and is collaborating with the university.”
Currently, Dalhousie University in Halifax provides the only medical school in Nova Scotia.
The family doctor waiting list in Nova Scotia reached an all-time high this month, with nearly 130,000 residents waiting for a primary care provider.
“The best way to address the physician shortage is to train more physicians,” Houston said in Friday’s speech, adding that a second campus is “finally happening.”
He said the campus will be “focused on educating Nova Scotia students, more specifically focused on educating rural Nova Scotia students.”
NS presents ER plan, nurse practitioners to provide ER care
Jay Leno breaks several bones in a motorcycle accident months after the garage fire
Although the school will open no later than fall 2025, Houston said it will push “extremely hard” for an even earlier date.
“Nova Scotians feel the urgency, I feel the urgency,” he said.
Houston said she hopes residents see that the government is working hard to address problems with the health care system and that progress is being made.
The comments come three weeks of scrutiny following the recent death of two women in emergency rooms.
Allison Holthoff, 37, died after a seven-hour wait in the emergency department at Cumberland Regional Health Center in Amherst, NS on December 31, 2022. Just one day earlier, Charlene Snow, 67 , she waited seven hours in the emergency department at Cape Breton Regional Hospital before giving up and returning home, where she died shortly thereafter.
‘Shock, sadness, anger’: Another NS woman dies after waiting 7 hours in ER, family says
Fireball Faces Lawsuit for Selling Mini Bottles That Do Not Contain Whiskey
Houston said the province will work to get the families their answers. She acknowledged that the answers won’t bring women back, but that those at the top are committed to ensuring that such stories are not repeated again.
As for cost, he said “whatever it takes.”
Houston said health care is a national issue, but said Nova Scotia is lucky.
“We have the best health leadership team in the country and sure, sure, we have the best health minister.
“We have highly trained, compassionate and dedicated doctors, nurses and allied health professionals across the spectrum.”
Houston said the current system was not designed for Nova Scotia’s growing and aging population, adding that the government must now consider long-term solutions.
His plan, he said, is based solely on “extraordinary growth.”
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.