Living Well Integrative Health Center

2176 Windsor Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. (902) 406-1500

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Living Well on Global News Working to put the "care" back in health care

Halifax clinic working to put the ‘care’ back in health care

Halifax’s Living Well Integrative Health Center has been nationally recognized for their innovative approach to collaborative care, and yet they still struggle to receive funding and support from the Nova Scotia government.

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Five years ago, Dr. Maria Patriquin set out to create a different sort of healthcare clinic to Halifax – one where you could go to get a flu shot, undergo music therapy and discuss your diet all under one roof.

“We were the first formal, private integrated health care centre that was established in Nova Scotia, in the Maritimes actually,” Patriquin said.

“We have a large variety of practitioners that are here, and a larger scope of practice by virtue of that.”

READ MORE: No budget, no timeline for Nova Scotia’s new collaborative care clinics

The Living Well Integrative Health Center is a unique blend of western and naturopathic medicine. They pride themselves on taking a “patient first” approach to healthcare by getting to the root causes of illness.

“We all need to deal with dollars, cents, realities and pragmatics. But if we negate to see what is the human component, then we’re not providing care. And I actually think that care that is compassionate is cost saving,” Patriquin said.

“Medicine changes, but it’s really not as compelling as people’s individual stories.”

READ MORE: Nova Scotia doctor calls family doctor shortage a ‘crisis’

Despite being dubbed a success story by the College of Physicians of Canada, however, the centre fails to receive the same sort of praise from the province.

“On a local level, although there is some recognition, that it’s important, and it fits those criteria, I would say that there are disincentives to this set up,” she said.

“Even a small incentive grant for collaborative care, I don’t actually technically meet the criteria for this year.”

Patriquin said if the province is serious about moving towards a collaborative care model, they should look into finding ways to better support private healthcare centres.

“In speaking conceptually, everybody is buying into [collaborative care], however, change is difficult. Knowing how to translate change into practise is important,” she said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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