Stephen McNeil set health care system back a year by picking a fight with health care workers

March 13, 2015

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says if Stephen McNeil had agreed to bargaining associations last summer, Nova Scotia’s health care system would not be facing the crisis it is today.

“Premier McNeil can call it whatever he wants, but the bargaining councils he just agreed to are essentially the bargaining associations health care workers proposed last summer,” says MacDonald. “It’s very unfortunate the Premier decided to pick a fight instead of negotiate. Patient care in our province has suffered significantly as a result.”

She added, “Just look at what’s happened in the past year. The home care wait list has doubled across the province and tripled in the HRM. The wait list for long term care is at a record high. A record number of nurses are retiring because they are fed up with how they’ve been treated by Premier McNeil. ICU beds are closed at our only tertiary hospital due to a nursing shortage and travel nurses from out-of-province are being brought in as a result. For the first time since 2009 doctors were compelled to speak out about overcrowding at emergency rooms. The ER in Shelburne is closed almost as often as it is open. And district health authorities are still $26 million over budget, which is something Stephen McNeil promised would not happen when this entire exercise in futility began.”