Confidential report recommends improvements in Sackville-area health services

Margaret Melanson, Horizon interim president and CEO

The New Wark Times has filed a Right to Information request for a confidential report that recommends improving access to primary caregivers such as family doctors and nurse practitioners in the Sackville area.

The report also calls for improving mental health and addiction services as well as the provision of long-term care.

It has not been released to the public.

Margaret Melanson, interim president and CEO of the Horizon Health Network outlined some of its recommendations to Tantramar Town Council on April 3rd.

She described it as “an in-depth review of current health care services in the Sackville area, with an analysis of gaps and opportunities.”

The report, submitted to Horizon last fall, was compiled by retired professionals including nursing consultants, a doctor and a marketing executive, all volunteers with the Rural Health Action Group, co-chaired by former Sackville Mayors John Higham and Pat Estabrooks.

The volunteers’ work, which included interviews with health professionals, was supported by Horizon staff.

Melanson told council that recommendations included improving what she called “team-based practice,” a reference to a health clinic that could provide services from a variety of professionals including, for example, a mental health practitioner, a social worker and a dietitian.

She also mentioned a potential partnership with the Drew Nursing Home modelled on the Nursing Home Without Walls program in Port Elgin that provides a variety of services to help old people remain in their homes.

Warktimes has been told that those who participated in compiling the report signed a confidentiality agreement promising not to disclose its contents publicly.

When asked for a copy, Pat Estabrooks said I should ask Horizon for it, but the Health Network has stopped responding to repeated requests that began on April 6th.

Unless it seeks additional time, Horizon’s 30 business-day deadline for responding to my RTIPPA request is June 1st.

To read CHMA’s report on Margaret Melanson’s presentation to Tantramar council, click here.

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3 Responses to Confidential report recommends improvements in Sackville-area health services

  1. Virgil Hammock says:

    Now, if health care and our hospital were important to those of us in Tantramar. I’m kidding of course. I, and I assume others, are getting tired of the ‘ I got a secret’ stuff or the need to know responses.

  2. Percy Best says:

    The one sure thing that is not a secret is the well known fact that Sackville is becoming quite famous for it’s secrecy that seems to originate very near the top. Whatever happened to the democratic right of citizens to be well informed.

  3. I’m confused. Volunteers signed a confidentiality agreement. Why? I have signed many of these and they all included a quid pro quo arrangement, where I got paid for participating. If you want my free advice, why should I agree to be muzzled in return?

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