Question Period Highlight – Liberal inaction on Home Care Waitlist

November 6, 2014

Your NDP MLAs are hard at work in the legislature this fall, holding the government to account during Question Period on a number of key issues, including job loses since Stephen McNeil became Premier, and how the Liberals’ health board amalgamation distraction is causing their government to take their eye off what really matters – front line care. Here is a question NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson asked Liberal Health Minister Leo Glavine about the growing waitlist for homecare.

DAVID WILSON: Ethel Turner in her own words says: “I just want to take my mom home safely.” I have to wonder how many other families in Nova Scotia are currently in Ethel Turner’s situation with loved ones waiting for the day when they can return home with the help of continuing care. The family has been advised that dozens of other seniors in Colchester Regional Hospital are waiting for that home care, also to hopefully be discharged from the hospital.

Can the Minister of Health and Wellness tell the House today how many people are in hospital and are on wait-lists for home care?

LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I know that the number who are seniors in our hospitals, there is a group of course who are waiting for nursing homes and then there’s a group waiting to go home to be able to get the special care that our home care agencies provide. I don’t have that breakdown of how many are nursing home bound or how many will be going home, but I can get that for the member opposite.

DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that information. The government has now passed three pieces of legislation that take away the hard-earned rights of health care workers, including Bill No. 30 which declared home care workers to be an essential service. How can the Minister of Health and Wellness declare home care workers as essential services without providing the proper funding for Nova Scotians to receive home care in the first place?

LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, the demand is very considerable even with adding $18 million additionally; we’re getting up to $200 million now toward home care. What I can assure the member opposite is that, with the efficiencies that we will gain through developing the one district for the province, we will be able to reallocate monies toward front-line and, in some cases, home care for Nova Scotians.