Stephen McNeil says he will take health care back to 1999

October 2, 2013

(Halifax, N.S.) Today, Premier Darrell Dexter said families should be concerned when Stephen McNeil let slip his plan to take health care back to the chaos it was in 1999, the last time the Liberals were in government.

“Stephen McNeil doesn’t answer questions but this time he slipped up and said what his plans for health care really are. Taking health care back to the chaos the Liberals caused in 1999 is something Nova Scotians should be very concerned about. A centralized super bureaucracy has failed and driven up costs everywhere it’s been tried. Stephen McNeil wants to take Nova Scotia backwards to the failed policies of 1999,” said Dexter.

In a rare moment on Global TV, September 25th, Stephen McNeil actually answered a question and said his plan for health care would be “one centralized administrative board… just like we did in 1999.”

“This revelation is concerning for seniors, families and front line health care workers who lived through the last Liberal health-care plan that caused chaos for patients, closed 1,600 hospital beds, froze long-term care and forced 1,000 nurses out of the profession. The NDP is focused on patient care — not administrative paperwork,” said the NDP leader.

Under the NDP, communities with Collaborative Emergency Centres have seen ER closures reduced by 92 per cent. It’s a model that is being copied in other provinces and is seen as an innovative approach to delivering better care where and when it’s needed. Yet Mr. McNeil won’t commit to keeping them open.

“McNeil’s centralized super bureaucracy hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried and Mr. McNeil is misleading families when he says taking health-care decisions out of local communities saves money. It doesn’t. The reality is, in both Alberta and New Brunswick administration costs went up with a central super bureaucracy and patient care suffered,” said Dexter.

“Nurses, emergency room doctors and front-line health-care workers have raised their concerns about going backwards to a centralized super bureaucracy that doesn’t work and hurts patient care. Why does Mr. McNeil think he knows better than those working on the front line, directly with patients? It’s a question he has dodged this entire campaign.”

“I’m asking Nova Scotians to vote for their NDP candidate and keep the focus on patients and delivering better health care, where and when you 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.