Dave in the News

March 29, 2016

As the first quarter of 2016 comes to a close, here’s a recap of the issues I’ve been working on that captured the attention of the press gallery.


Nova Scotia racks up $1m bill from Mayo Clinic. Pathology work sent to Minnesota laboratory

Michael Gorman, January 4th

NDP health critic Dave Wilson, also a former health minister, said it is unbelievable the health authority would contract work as far afield as America when it should be strengthening the system here in Nova Scotia.

The Health and Wellness Department should step in and find an alternative solution, said Wilson.

“This is a direction that I don’t believe that Nova Scotians would want the government to go in,” he said.

(No link provided due to Herald strike)

N.S. NDP frustrated with government’s direction on promised PTSD help

The Canadian Press, January 5th

“It’s usually after a long hard-fought battle which is the last thing they need when they are trying to get better from PTSD,” Wilson said.

LIKE, SHARE AND TWEET: http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/n-s-ndp-frustrated-with-government-s-direction-on-promised-ptsd-help-1.2724400

Mental health services harder to reach in Nova Scotia. People are waiting up to 105 days, provincial data shows.

Michael Gorman, January 14th

Wait times for community-based mental health services are on the rise at the same time as the government and provincial health authority are trying to direct more people to such care.

Government data shows the average wait time for 90 per cent of adults for the period from July to September in 2013 was 75 days; the number increased to 105 days for the same 2015 period.

NDP health critic Dave Wilson said the issue with access to services is nothing new. Wilson said the government has taken too long to implement steps in the mental health strategy his former government introduced.

“Ensuring that there is mental health units around the province is important. … Investing in community-based programs and services goes hand in hand with ensuring that there are facilities that individuals who might need more than just a walk-in clinic or an hour session with somebody (can access).”

(No link provided due to Herald strike)

$800,000 hospital camera sits idle for a year in Sydney

Tom Ayers, January 17th

A new nuclear medicine camera is still sitting in crates more than a year after it was purchased for Cape Breton Regional Hospital, which NDP health critic Dave Wilson says is evidence of poor decision-making in Halifax.

“When decisions are made out of Halifax, it is clear that they’re not paying attention to the issues of Cape Breton.

(No link provided due to Herald strike)

Paramedics calling for increased support for first responders with PTSD

CTV News, March 10th

In October 2014, former paramedic and Nova Scotia NDP MLA Dave Wilson introduced a private member’s bill to help first responders living with PTSD. Wilson says PTSD should be presumed to be a workplace injury and compensated accordingly by the Workers’ Compensation Board.

“Currently the policy states that if someone’s diagnosed with PTSD it has to come from a single event, and it has to be within a year of that event, but unfortunately we know now with PTSD that it’s the accumulative exposure,” said Wilson.

LIKE, SHARE AND TWEET: http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/paramedics-calling-for-increased-support-for-first-responders-with-ptsd-1.2812590


For-profit plasma clinics exploit blood for profit say NDP

The Coast, March 11th

Dave Wilson, health critic for the NDP, condemned that idea in a press release sent out Friday. Wilson called on Health minister Leo Glavine to take action and prevent private plasma clinics from opening in Nova Scotia.

“Blood should be considered a public resource, not a private one for exploitation and profit,” writes Wilson.

LIKE, SHARE AND TWEET: http://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/archives/2016/03/11/for-profit-plasma-clinics-exploit-blood-for-profit-say-ndp


Payer of VG Hospital renovations remains unclear

CTV News, March 12th

Nova Scotia Health Minister Leo Glavine says he’s not sure whether the federal government will kick in infrastructure funding to replace the hospital.

“We haven’t had an answer back, to be quite frank,” said Glavine.

But NDP MLA Dave Wilson says it didn’t take long for him to get an answer from federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi.

In a letter, the minister says, “Unfortunately hospitals are not eligible under current infrastructure programs.”

“This is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Wilson. “I would hope that the federal government recognizes the importance of this project.”

LIKE, SHARE AND TWEET: http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/payer-of-vg-hospital-renovations-remains-unclear-1.2814971


Trudeau and McNeil discuss Victoria General, no funding commitments.

Metro, January 14th

The aging Victoria General hospital may have been brought up to the prime minister, but plans for its replacement likely won’t be in Nova Scotia’s upcoming capital plan.

Glavine has promised a replacement plan for the VG – which has dealt with floods, rodent issues and multiple other problems – will come in January.

NDP health critic MLA Dave Wilson said it’s frustrating there will be no details on the VG in the capital plan.

“We’re going to continue to see situations that we’ve seen over the last year or two happen … because of their inaction.”

LIKE, SHARE AND TWEET: http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2016/01/14/justin-trudeau-talks-vg-hospital-issues-with-premier-mcneil.html


COLUMN: Supportive housing is a must for people with mental illnesses

Nova News Now, February 21st

Wendy Elliott: Now I am not an NDP member, but I was impressed when I heard provincial leadership candidate Dave Wilson commenting on this issue on the radio last week. During his years as a paramedic, Wilson has said that the underlying cause of a large percentage of emergency calls is mental illness. He said it is not uncommon for those suffering from acute emotional trauma to be turned away.

Wilson is advocating for a Manitoba model of Mental Health Emergency Rooms to be implemented at hospitals around Nova Scotia.

“They will provide a safe and caring environment for patients, free of the turmoil and troubling stimuli often present in the traditional emergency room setting,” Wilson said. “They will also be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and staffed by health care workers whose field of expertise is mental health.”

LIKE, SHARE AND TWEET: http://www.novanewsnow.com/Opinion/Columnists/2016-02-21/article-4441754/WENDY-ELLIOTT-COLUMN%3A-Supportive-housing-is-a-must-for-people-with-mental-illnesses/1

Cody Glode’s death should be ‘wake up call’ for Nova Scotia government: opposition

Metro, March 16th

“I hope it’s a wake up call for the government, and the minister, and the premier so that they will look at this and invest in mental health in the next budget,” NDP health critic Dave Wilson said Wednesday.

Wilson warned that without action, stories like Cody’s would continue to happen.

“We’re going to continue hearing of sad, sad situations like Cody Glode,” he said. “People are not going to get the access and many who find they have lost that battle with depression end up taking their own lives. That’s the reality.”

LIKE, SHARE AND TWEET: http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2016/03/16/cody-glode-death-should-be-a-wake-up-call-for-nova-scotia.html


COLUMN: We call suicide a preventable cause of death, but…

Metro, March 23rd

Stephen Kimber: After Metro first told Cody’s story last week, provincial opposition leaders responded predictably — but correctly.

Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie renewed his year-old call for an inquiry into mental health services, and NDP health critic Dave Wilson urged the government to “invest in mental health” in its upcoming budget.

LIKE, SHARE AND TWEET: http://stephenkimber.com/we-call-suicide-a-preventable-cause-of-death-but/