Liberal government must explain new criteria for long-term care

February 19, 2015

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald is calling on the Liberal government to explain what criteria will be used to prioritize thousands of seniors requiring long-term care beds across Nova Scotia following changes announced earlier this week.

Government figures indicate approximately 1,250 people need a long-term care bed immediately but can’t get one. All told there are close to 2,500 people on the waiting list for long-term care in Nova Scotia.

“While it may sound like common sense to say long-term care beds should go first to those most in need, we have hundreds of people with medically established needs waiting right now,” said MacDonald. “How will they decide who gets to the head of the line? Who will make that decision? How can we be assured that we don’t return to a system where a call to the Minister’s office will get someone a bed over those who have waited their turn?”

On Wednesday Health Minister Leo Glavine announced he was eliminating the current first come, first served policy and replacing it with a system where long-term care applicants are ranked based on need. However, the government has yet to establish what criteria will be used under the new system.

“I’m calling on the Health Minister to clarify the process and explain who specifically will determine priority so any concerns about queue jumping are addressed,” MacDonald added.