'He needed help:' Paramedic questions system after encountering suicidal man

A Nova Scotia paramedic is sounding alarms over what he says is a lack of health care resources after encountering a suicidal man who had just been discharged from the hospital.

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Adam Hussey said he was driving 90 km/h on Highway 125 in Sydney, N.S. last week when he spotted a man who he believed was a hitchhiker.

"I felt guilty about not wanting to pick him so I kind of averted my eyes and the next thing I knew he was directly in my path," Hussey told CTV Atlantic.

Hussey said he narrowly missed the 25-year-old man, who he said was trying to end his own life.

"After I convinced him to get in the car, he immediately started to cry and he started telling me he didn't feel anyone cared," Hussey said.

He drove the man to Cape Breton Regional Hospital and learned from the nurses that he had been discharged from the facility only hours earlier.

Hussey said he was told there was not enough room in the hospital.

"He obviously needed more help than he could get," Hussey said. "He wasn't ready to be discharged. This was as serious as a heart attack, as serious as a stroke. He needed help and that was that."

The Nova Scotia Health Authority declined to comment on the specific case. In a statement to CTV News officials said "each patient is different and has different needs."

Official said a "care plan" is developed to meet the patient's needs.

“Care plans cover a number of treatment options including referral to the on-call psychiatrist, inpatient admission or discharge with outpatient follow-up, if applicable," the statement reads.

Hussey said he remains deeply concerned about the man. The last time he saw him, the man told Hussey he would continue trying to end his life.

He said a lack of doctors in the province is straining the health care system.

"My question is, what are they doing to actually intrigue doctors to come here?" he asked.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore


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