Nova Scotia’s health care system deteriorates under McNeil government – Emergency Room closures increase by 30% in past year

December 10, 2015

Families have less access to timely care in an emergency as a result of the McNeil government, says NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson.

According to figures released yesterday in the Annual Accountability Report on Emergency Departments, emergency room closures across Nova Scotia have increased by 30%, or more than 6,000 hours in the past year. See figures here.

From a regional perspective, emergency room closures in Cape Breton have doubled. Last year the region’s eight ERs were closed for 6,422 hours, this year the total was 11,237 hours. ER closures have also more than doubled along the South Shore, increasing by more than 400 hours. In the Guysborough-Antigonish-Strait area ER closures have increased by almost 1000%. In 2013-14 the six ERs in the region were closed for 154 hours, this year the total reached 1,332 hours.

Wilson says what’s most troubling is that the McNeil government has no plan to keep emergency rooms open.

“One of the most crucial government functions is ensuring people have access to quality and timely healthcare, and on this front the Liberals have failed Nova Scotians,” says Wilson. “The numbers don’t lie. Our health care system is deteriorating while Leo Glavine and Stephen McNeil are busy amalgamating DHAs and picking fights with healthcare workers.”

He adds, “To make matters worse, while Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs) have proven to be an effective way to reduce ER closures in rural communities, the McNeil government has failed to open a single CEC in the past two years in spite of numerous promises from the Minister.”

The report shows that total closures at Nova Scotia’s seven CECs remained unchanged from the previous year, increasing by only one hour.