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Emergency Department Protection and Accountability Act

BILL NO. 246

(as introduced)

2nd Session, 60th General Assembly
Nova Scotia
58 Elizabeth II, 2009

Private Member's Bill

Emergency Department Protection and Accountability Act

The Honourable Darrell Dexter
Cole Harbour

First Reading: April 30, 2009

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

An Act to Keep Hospital
Emergency Departments Open

WHEREAS keeping hospital emergency departments open and reducing wait times in health care is a Government of Nova Scotia responsibility;

AND WHEREAS district health authorities are responsible for effective management strategies throughout the health and hospital system, which have an impact on emergency department overcrowding and wait times, including appropriate staffing and planning to ensure patient access to timely care;

THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Emergency Department Protection and Accountability Act.

2 The purpose of this Act is to ensure that emergency departments are kept open and to provide public accountability to communities with chronically closed emergency departments.

3 In this Act,

(a) "district health authority" means a district health authority as defined in the Health Authorities Act;

(b) "emergency department" means an emergency department operated by a district health authority, whether or not the emergency department is operated as part of a hospital;

(c) "Minister" means the Minister of Health.

4 (1) Where

(a) a district health authority plans the closure of an emergency department; or

(b) a community health board for the area served by an emergency department requests by resolution,

the district health authority shall consult with the community served by the emergency department.

(2) The consultation must include consideration of proposed community solutions to keep open or re-open the emergency department.

(3) The district health authority may consider other solutions.

5 (1) The district health authority shall report to the Minister on the results of consultations pursuant to this Act.

(2) Within thirty days of receiving a report, the Minister shall table it in the House of Assembly or, if the Assembly is not then sitting, file it with the Clerk of Assembly.


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