Auditor General’s report shows Liberals considering hospital closures
June 8, 2016
The Auditor General’s report released today highlights the Liberal government’s failures on hospital infrastructure. An investigation by Global News this spring found the Liberals had underspent on hospital infrastructure by 50% over the past three years for a total of just over $73 million. The Auditor General’s report confirms a growing infrastructure funding gap for hospitals. The NDP raised this issue several times while the legislature was sitting.
The Auditor Generals’ report shows a funding gap of $85 million dollars for hospital infrastructure (page 35). The report highlights that this funding gap means the leaky roof at the Dartmouth General is not being repaired, and the elevators are not being fixed at South Shore Regional.
“The report shows the Liberals are failing to maintain hospitals across the province,” says Dave Wilson, NDP Health Critic and MLA for Sackville-Cobequid. “The Liberals are attempting to balance the books by starving our hospitals of the maintenance and repair work that’s needed.”
One of the recommendations in the report seems to suggest closing certain hospitals or moving their services to other locations including hospitals in Pugwash, Tatamagouche, New Waterford, North Sydney, Glace Bay, and Lunenburg (pages 35-37). The Department of Health and Wellness has responded by saying they agree with the recommendation and intend to implement it.
“Are the Liberals planning to close hospitals or move services out of smaller facilities?’ asks Wilson. “The McNeil government needs to be clear with Nova Scotians about their intentions when addressing this issue and ensure that adequate public consultation takes place before any decision is made.”