Closure of mental health unit at Aberdeen Hospital inexcusable

July 19, 2015

(Halifax, NS) The McNeil government must provide adequate resources to ensure the mental health unit at the Aberdeen hospital remains open, says NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald. She adds that the Minister of Health owes Nova Scotians an explanation for why he has allowed the situation at the hospital to reach this point. 

Last Friday it was revealed that the eight bed unit will be closing on August 1st for at least three months and possibly longer. 

“People that present themselves at the mental health unit are often in signifiant psychological and emotional distress and are worried about their safety and the safety of others,” says MacDonald. “It’s no more excusable to shut down a mental health unit for a number of months than it is to shut down a cardiac care unit. Mental health care is not optional for people suffering with a mental illness.” 

MacDonald says the entire health care system has suffered under the McNeil government.

“This is a government who failed to adequately fund health care in the last budget and cuts are now being made. The mental health care system has been especially hard hit,” says MacDonald.

She adds, “This would not have happened under the watch of the former volunteer board of the Pictou District Health Authority who understood and fought to keep health care services strong in the region. Now those voices have been silenced by the McNeil government as officials in Halifax make decisions about health care services with little regard to the needs of towns like New Glasgow.”