Addictions wait times skyrocket by 90% under Liberals
June 9, 2016
(Sackville, NS) – Wait times for community-based addictions services have skyrocketed by 90% since the Liberals were elected, according to the government’s own data. The data shows that wait times increased from an average of 30 days in January-March 2014 to 57 days in the same period in 2016. These services are outreach, intervention, and treatment services for Nova Scotians who are looking for addictions services in their own communities.
These wait times, which include services related to substance abuse, problem gambling, and more, are increasing at a time the Liberal government has projected a major increase in VLT revenue in this year’s budget.
Revenue from VLTs is anticipated to increase by 23% this year, roughly $27 million. The Liberals also eliminated My Play, a program designed to help problem gamblers, with no plan to replace it and against expert advice. This is in addition to a growing opioid medication abuse problem in many parts of the province.
“On the same day Minister Glavine is hosting a mental health announcement, Nova Scotians who are in need of support are waiting almost twice as long under his watch. We have a provincial budget that was balanced on the backs of problem gamblers, and the addictions side of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy has seemed to fall off the Minster’s radar,” says NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson. “When these individuals are looking for help, they and their families should be assured that they can receive quality care in a timely manner.”