Wilson: McNeil’s opposition to CECs would hurt health care

September 20, 2013

NDP candidate and Minister Dave Wilson says Stephen McNeil would put better health care for families in Nova Scotia at risk because he has no plan to keep emergency rooms open.

McNeil had no answer today when reporters asked him whether he would shutter Collaborative Emergency Centres and return to the days when ERs closed for 20,000 hours a year in the province.

“Stephen McNeil opposes collaborative emergency rooms and makes not a single mention of emergency rooms in his platform. The question is then, what will Stephen McNeil do to keep emergency rooms open if he’s elected?” asked Wilson, who is running in Sackville – Cobequid.

Wilson says in the last 12 months alone McNeil has taken a variety of negative positions on CECs; everything from ‘I don’t know why they’re doing it -they don’t save money’ to ‘they should have more nurses and paramedics in them’ to ‘they’re fixing a problem that doesn’t exist’.

Wilson says, despite the obvious flip flopping, the one position McNeil can’t deny is his assertion that CECs are not helping to solve emergency rooms closures.

“I’ve heard from families in places like Cumberland County whose loved ones were frequently met with ‘CLOSED’ signs at their emergency room. They were forced to travel long distances for health care and in a Maritime winter you can imagine how dangerous and difficult that was for them, especially for seniors,” said Wilson.

“Now that they have CECs in their communities they are no longer being met with closed signs and are no longer forced to travel out of their communities to get the care they need.”

Wilson says McNeil’s opposition to CECs and his scheme to implement a health superboard would hurt efforts to continue improving health care in for families across the province.

“The Liberals are the party of cuts, hospital bed closures and lost jobs. Nova Scotians can’t risk returning to a record like that. We need to keep moving forward with the NDP’s plan that is providing better health care, when and where 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.