Home care services in crisis under Liberal government

November 13, 2014

NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson says the Liberal government needs to take immediate action to end the home care crisis currently taking place in rural communities across Nova Scotia.

A government document the NDP received yesterday shows that the provincial wait list for home care services has almost doubled since April of 2014. Currently there are 760 people waiting for home care, an increase of 338 since April (See attached document).

“Instead of making sure people can get the home care they need, Leo Glavine once again has been preoccupied with his health merger scheme,” said Wilson. “As a result people are being forced to sit and wait in hospital beds instead of being at home with their families and loved ones. This can’t continue and the government needs to take steps to remedy the situation immediately.”

Seven of Nova Scotia’s nine district health authorities have experienced a significant increase in the number of people waiting for home care since April:

Comparison of October 24th and April 11th homecare waitlists by district

1. South Shore Health District: 63 people (increase of 56)
2. South West Health District: 103 people (increase of 77)
3. Annapolis Valley Health Authority District 154 people (increase of 53)
4. Colchester East Hants Health Authority District 49 people (no data provided in April)
5. Cumberland Health Authority District 0 people (0 in April)
6. Pictou County Health Authority District 130 people (increase of 67)
7. Guysborough, Antigonish, Strait Health Authority District 97 people (increase of 73)
8. Cape Breton District Health Authority District 73 people (increase of 24)
9. Capital Health District 91 people (decrease of 61)

Wilson says the wait list for home care is placing a tremendous amount of pressure on the entire health care system, because beds that could be used for emergency patients, are being taken up by people who otherwise should be receiving home care. He also says the treatment of health care workers by the Liberal government does nothing to improve the situation.

“Twice in the last year, with Bill 30 in March then and again this fall with Bill 1, the Liberals have taken away the collective rights of home care workers in this province,” said Wilson. “At a time when the province needs to be doing more to attract new home care workers this really is the wrong approach.”