Front-line health care professionals speak out against Liberal health scheme

October 2, 2013

(Amherst, N.S) Cumberland North NDP candidate Brian Skabar says doctors and health professionals are joining other community leaders in the area to sound the alarm about the Liberal scheme to abolish local health boards and create a centralized health super bureaucracy in Halifax.

Dr. Brian Ferguson, a well-known local family physician with twenty-five years of caring for families in Cumberland, is one of them.

“I worked and lived as a doctor in Cumberland County during the health reforms of the 1990s, when local health boards were centralized and it wasn’t good. Dr. Hamm stabilized it with the current DHA structure and the NDP government has worked effectively with physicians and communities to improve health care,” said Dr. Ferguson.

Alberta’s Health Quality Council published a damming report concluding that “massive restructuring of the health system has contributed to the problems” being experienced by physicians and patients.

“As a physician, it concerns me to see the reports coming out of Alberta on the impact their restructuring has had on patients and the physicians who advocate for them. We should avoid these needless restructuring moves – they just cause chaos,” said Dr. Ferguson.

“For the first time in my life I’m not voting Liberal or Conservative. I’m voting NDP to protect health care in Nova Scotia.”

Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar agreed with Dr. Ferguson, saying Nova Scotia’s experience with health super bureaucracy in the 1990s under the last Liberal government was a failure.

“The Liberals in the 1990s centralized health care decisions and it was a complete disaster. It resulted in 1,600 closed hospital beds and forced 1,000 nurses out of nursing,” said Skabar. “Stephen McNeil has said he will do the same thing, just like the Liberals did in 1999, which shows that they’ve learned nothing from their own past,” said Skabar.

“The choice for voters is clear: go back to the failed Liberal health policies of the past that resulted in cuts, closures and job losses or move forward with the NDP’s practical solutions like CECs to keep ERs open, nurse-managed clinics and a focus on patient care.”