NDP stands with health care workers against McNeil super bureaucracy

September 28, 2013

(Truro, N.S.) Today Premier Darrell Dexter met with nurses and other front line health workers, volunteer board members, and municipal officials to hear how Stephen McNeil’s centralized, super bureaucracy will cause chaos and harm patient care.

 “Front line health care workers lived through the last time the Liberals threw the health system into chaos. They remember when 1,000 nurses left the profession and the negative impact it had on patient care,” said Dexter.

Dr. John Ross has said focusing on creating a super bureaucracy is ‘administrative busy work’ and attention should be placed on improving front line care.

Volunteer health board chair Bruce Saunders has said it would be detrimental to the community.

Nova Scotia Nursing Union President Janet Hazelton said the last time health boards were reduced the province lost 1,000 nurses.

“Stephen McNeil doesn’t understand patient care and has said he wants to do the same things the Liberals did in 1999. The one sure way to stop that is to vote for your NDP candidate,” said the NDP leader.

“A centralized super bureaucracy is not the answer, it hurt patient care and drove up costs everywhere it’s been tried. Mr. McNeil should spend less time attacking health professionals who have real concerns and spend more time being honest with people.”

The last Liberal government centralized health boards and the result was 1,600 closed hospital beds, 1,000 nurses forced out of nursing, no new long-term care beds and a 60 per cent increase in health administration spending.

“Stephen McNeil can’t explain how a super bureaucracy would improve patient care when it’s failed and drove up costs in both Alberta and New Brunswick. He has refused to answer the question whenever he’s been asked. Families deserve a straight answer,” said Dexter.

Under the NDP administration spending has been reduced by more than 23%, there are 400 more doctors working in Nova Scotia, communities with CECs have seen ER closures drop by 92% and there are 1,000 new long-term care beds with 1,100 more on the way.

“A centralized super bureaucracy presents a real risk to front line patient care. Families have a choice in this election. Do we continue to focus on patients and improving front line care with the NDP? Or do we go backwards to the failed policies of the past with the Liberals?”

The NDP will: deliver better health care where and when people need it, fight for good jobs and stronger communities, keep the HST off home energy and take it off more family essentials, give our kids a better start, stand up for seniors, build the Maritime Link and keep the budget balanced to protect services for families.

Election day is Tuesday, October 8.