The province is fast-tracking the construction of a new health facility for Long and Brier Islands, bringing good jobs and reliable health care to the area, Premier Darrell Dexter announced in Digby today, Sept. 27. The already-planned project is being accelerated to help spur economic activity in light of recent setbacks in the region. “Long and Brier Islands has shown there’s a better way to provide health care for people in their community,” said Premier Dexter. “Communities across Nova Scotia are seeing the benefits of collaborative care — like better access and shorter wait times — and are getting on board. This government made a commitment to Nova Scotians to ensure better care sooner, and innovative solutions like collaborative care are making that a reality. “The province is moving this project forward to support people in Digby County, many of whom are feeling the impact of the Bowater mill’s closure. This project will generate economic activity during construction, and leave residents with a new and improved health-care facility for their community.” The two-year provincial investment will help design, plan and build a facility that will continue to provide a collaborative model of care that is unique to Long and Brier Islands. The Community Paramedicine Initiative will have a clinic and EHS base under one roof to offer primary care and emergency services. Long and Brier Islands resident Alvah Titus said his health-care needs are met close to home and specialist appointments can be arranged through the clinic. “Since I was diagnosed with melanoma in January, I’ve received great care and follow up at my clinic,” said Mr. Titus. “I can have my blood work done here, and I don’t have to travel long distances for care, especially in winter or bad weather.” Recognized by the Council of the Federation, the Community Paramedicine Initiative is an innovative way to provide health care to geographically isolated communities. “The local community has enthusiastically embraced this service and the current health centre has been well used over the years,” said Blaise MacNeil, CEO, South West District Health Authority. “We are proud to be part of this successful partnership and South West Health looks forward to having a new modern health centre from which we can continue to provide safe, quality health-care services.” Quality primary health care is provided by a nurse practitioner, EHS paramedics and an offsite physician, in collaboration with VON, home-care agencies and other patient-centered care providers. Together, they ensure patients in isolated areas have access to better care sooner. For more information on the province’s Better Care Sooner plan, visit http://www.novascotia.ca/health/bettercaresooner .
LONDON — Anglo Dutch energy giant Shell says its fourth-quarter earnings rose 32 per cent as the company took advantage of higher oil prices following years of streamlining operations.Earnings excluding one-time items and fluctuations in the value of inventories — the industry’s favoured measure of performance — rose to $5.69 billion in the final three months of 2018 from $4.30 billion in the same period a year earlier. Net income jumped 47 per cent to $5.59 billion.Shell is benefiting from a rebound in energy prices after it slashed costs and reined in investment when crude oil plunged to less than $30 a barrel in 2016.But the company says it is bracing for a decline in first-quarter production in its integrated gas and upstream divisions because of the divestments.The Associated Press