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Doctors Nova Scotia working to keep healthcare workers safe during coronavirus pandemic

Dr. Gary Ernest says half of the doctors in the province in Nova Scotia are over the age of 50, putting them in a high risk position to assess, and treat people potentially dealing with the deadly virus
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The president of Doctors Nova Scotia says his workers and the Department of Health and Wellness are working collaboratively to ensure health care workers are safe while dealing with COVID-19.

Concerns for worker safety remain, however, as front line health care employees continue to deal with the growing pandemic.

Dr. Gary Ernest says half of the doctors in the province in Nova Scotia are over the age of 50, putting them in a high risk position to assess, and treat people potentially dealing with the deadly virus. Ernest says as well, two to three hundred are over the age of 60.

As these doctors deal with the threat of becoming sick themselves, Ernest tells NEWS 95.7 there is also concern over how the system will cope.

"Is the system going to have enough capacity to deal with all the people who are ill? It's going to put a tremendous strain on the system, and then a worry we have is what happens when doctors start to get sick, and then the numbers of us that can look after people start to decline," says Ernest. "So that's a concern."

Ernest says it has proven to be a difficult balance in keeping the public calm, but also informed:

"Amongst our patients [to] provide enough information so that we're encouraging our patients, and fellow physicians to be prepared in terms of hygiene techniques, staying away from places where there are a lot of people, yet, not taking it to a point of being panicked," says Ernest.

Overall, Ernest believes doctors in the province have been working positively with the Department of Health and Wellness to reduce fear, but to also increase education on virus prevention. Ernest says doctors are dealing with the pandemic well adding he has a lot of faith in the system.


Matthew Moore

About the Author: Matthew Moore

Born on Cape Breton Island, Matthew is a reporter and weekend anchor for NEWS 95.7 and HalifaxToday.ca.
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