Liberal government ignoring health care in Southwest Nova Scotia

November 18, 2014

(South Shore, NS) The health care system along the South Shore and in South West Nova Scotia is reaching a crisis point due to a lack of attention from the Liberal government, say NDP MLAs Denise Peterson-Rafuse and Sterling Belliveau.

The comments come just days after it was discovered the waiting list for home care has increased by approximately 700 per cent in the South Shore District Health Authority and by close to 300 per cent in the South West district since April 2014. The total number of people waiting for home care in the two regions has increased from 33 to 166 in the past 6 months.

Sterling Belliveau, MLA for Queens – Shelburne, says it’s no coincidence the number of people waiting for home care has increased since the Liberal started pushing their health merger scheme last spring.

“Leo Glavine isn’t paying attention to front-line care – it’s not his priority,” says Belliveau. “He’s completely ignored the nursing shortage at the Roseway Hospital, ER closures are at record levels in our region, the home care wait list has grown out of control and this Liberal government is doing absolutely nothing about it. This can’t continue.”

Denise Peterson-Rafuse, MLA for Chester – St. Margaret’s, says the failure of the Liberal government to curb ER closures at Fishermen’s Memorial is indicative the Liberal government’s handling of the health care file.

“Far too much emphasis has been placed on merging health authorities and as a result front-line care in rural communities has suffered,” says Peterson-Rafuse. “When a government’s entire focus becomes trying to save around a million dollars in a $4.5 billion budget the important things get ignored. For families in our region that has meant ER closures and a substantial deterioration in home care support.”

Both MLAs are concerned the situation won’t improve once the merger is complete.

“Under the Liberal merger scheme, all health care decisions will be made in Halifax with a small amount of input from an administrator based in Kentville,” said Belliveau. “I’m concerned that rural communities in our region have lost their voice when it comes to health care.”