Healthcare Poverty Weekend Video

Weekend Video: the North End Community Health Centre

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – This weekend’s Weekend Video offers just a glimpse into all that the North End Community Health Centre on Gottingen Street has to offer.  

There’s a couple of things that make the North End Clinic, and all its rural and urban sister clinics, a little different.

Teamwork is prominent in all Community Health Centres. A doctor associated with a Community Health Centre never works alone but shares the patient care with nurses, occupational therapists, dieticians, mental healthcare providers, whatever the community needs may be.

For the North End Community Health Centre on Gottingen Street for instance, the team that looks after patients includes, among others, a dentist, a nutritionist, somebody who provides foot care, and a social worker who helps low income patients deal with power cut offs, problems with landlords, social assistance, and the like.

To appreciate just how different that approach is, check out this interview with Paul O’Hara, the clinic’s former social worker, reflecting on his decades of work in the North End.

The North End clinic also operates a medical outreach team for people who are homeless or insecure in their housing. We see a bit of that in the video.

Most regular family practitioners charge MSI, our provincial health insurance system, for each patient they see. This is why these doctors will often only allow a patient to raise so many health issues per visit.

In contrast, all staff of Community Health Centres are salaried, rather than paid a set fee for each patient they see. That includes doctors.

Sadly, underfunding is another thing all Community Health Clinics in Nova Scotia have in common.

The North End clinic is no exception. A roof that could collapse is just its latest challenge.

Check out the website of the Nova Scotia Federation of Community Health Centres