One woman, six Liberal donors to be appointed to new Health Authority board

February 24, 2015

The McNeil government has failed to represent the diverse needs of Nova Scotians in the creation of the new Provincial Health Authority Board says NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald.

She made the comments after the McNeil Cabinet approved a list of nine Provincial Health Authority Board directors. This morning, just before the provincial Human Resources Committee meeting was set to vote on the new board appointees, the Health Minister tried to withdraw the list but the names were already public.

Of the nine appointees, eight are men and six were Liberal donors in 2013. Four current District Health Authorities are also excluded from the new board including Cumberland, Pictou, Guysborough Antigonish Strait, and South Shore.

“Why is there no representative from the African Nova Scotian and First Nations communities on this board? Why are there four lawyers and only one health care worker? Who is the voice for low-income families in this group? Why do so many rural communities lack representation? Given that almost 60 people applied, why is there such an obvious lack of diversity in this board’s membership?” asks MacDonald.

MacDonald would like to know who else applied for these positions and if any additional attempts were made to achieve the stated mandate of gender equity and cultural diversity for all government appointments to agencies, boards and commissions.

“As the body responsible for oversight of our health care system, this quite possibly is the most important board government appoints,” said MacDonald. “We need to know those appointed will first and foremost be able to consistently act in the public interest with no consideration whatsoever of political partisanship. Unfortunately the large number of appointees with Liberal Party ties raises legitimate questions about whose interests will guide decisions of this board.”