Liberals had their chance and failed to improve access to health care

September 27, 2013

NDP candidate and Health Minister Dave Wilson says better access to health care for families in rural Nova Scotia would be at risk with Liberal leader Stephen McNeil.

Wilson’s comment came in response today’s Liberal health announcement which ironically was situated across from what will soon be a Collaborative Emergency Centre at Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg.

Wilson says McNeil has been an outspoken opponent of the new Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) model introduced under the NDP that is helping to dramatically reduce emergency rooms closures in rural Nova Scotia. Wilson says Nova Scotians should be concerned about McNeil’s plan to review the CEC model.

“It’s clear Stephen McNeil just does not understand how valuable this model is. It’s like he’s stuck in a time warp and refuses to move forward with this new way of providing better care to families in Nova Scotia,” said Wilson, who is running in Sackville – Cobequid. 

In a recent interview McNeil was critical of CECs and said he plans to review model if elected. The NDP have opened seven CECs with a plan to open seven more across the province.

“We know what happens when the Liberals promise to ‘review’ things- they end up cutting. And in this case it’s a sure bet Stephen McNeil’s plan to ‘review’ CECs will result in him shutting them down.”

Wilson says McNeil and the Liberals have no real plan to address health care challenges facing Nova Scotians, particularly in rural communities. Under the Liberal plan there wouldn’t be a single new doctor who will begin practicing in Nova Scotia within the next six years.

In contrast, the NDP have increased the number of doctors in Nova Scotia by more than 400 since 2009. More CECs and the addition of four nurse managed clinics will also help provide better care for people in rural Nova Scotia when and where people need it.

“Stephen McNeil and the Liberals want to take Nova Scotia back to the 1990s when the last Liberal government tried making drastic cuts to health administration. That resulted in the loss of 1,600 hospital beds and 1,000 nurses. Health care officials across the province are warning going back would be a very bad idea.”

Wilson says the NDP have already reduced administration more than any other province since 2009 and have a plan to do more.

“We need to keep moving Nova Scotia forward with the NDP’s plan for better health care where and when people need it.”

The NDP will: deliver better health care where and when people need it, fight for good jobs and stronger communities, keep the HST off home energy and take it off more family essentials, give our kids a better start, stand up for seniors, build the Maritime Link and keep the budget balanced to protect services for families.

Election day is Tuesday, October 8.