McNeil government cut capital funding to long-term care facilities
August 30, 2016
For immediate release.
HALIFAX – Documents obtained by the Nova Scotia NDP from a confidential source show that the McNeil government eliminated all non-emergency capital funding for nursing homes and residential care facilities starting in February 2016.
“Stephen McNeil and his government have not opened a single long-term care bed during their time in government. Now, they are putting the long-term health of current facilities at risk by cutting capital funding,” said Gary Burrill, Leader of the Nova Scotia NDP.
A letter sent by a Department of Health and Wellness official to long-term care facilities on February 22, 2016 regarding “LTC Capital Requests” states, “Given the current fiscal environment, only emergency requests will be reviewed at this time.” This position was re-affirmed for 2016-17 in a memo on May 12, 2016.
This year, the Liberals cut more than $6 million from the operating budgets of nursing homes and residential care facilities.
“It is deeply concerning that Stephen McNeil has jeopardized not only the quality of care provided to the residents of nursing homes, but also the infrastructure of the facilities themselves,” said Burrill.
In May, the McNeil government came under fire after a Global News investigation found that the government had underspent the hospital infrastructure budget by 50 per cent, or $72 million, over the past three years. A month later, in June, the Auditor General raised concerns about inadequate funding for hospital infrastructure.
“We need only look at the infrastructure of our hospitals to see what happens when you neglect the day-to-day capital needs of our public health system,” said Burrill.
For more information, contact Kaley Kennedy at 902-229-6881.