Better Healthcare Where and When You Need It

Nothing is more important than our family’s health.

The NDP is working to reduce ER closures in rural areas by creating Collaborative Emergency Centres (CEC) that reduce wait times.  It opened nine new CECs that have reduced closures, providing 24/7 emergency care, and same or next day appointments, reducing waiting times.  The Restore Program brings the emergency room to people by allowing paramedics to administer clot busting drugs to patients having a heart attack on the ambulance instead of waiting until after they arrive at the hospital.

Our opponents have a record of deep cuts to frontline health services.  The Liberals closed 1,600 hospital beds and caused 1000 nurses to leave. Conservatives let ER closures soar. Now they both want to create an even bigger health bureaucracy and take away any chance of local input.

In its First Four Years the NDP

  • Recruited more rural doctors and hired more nurse practitioners
  • Waived the cost of ambulance transfer service for low-income Nova Scotians and seniors with mobility problems
  • Capped generic drugs prices lowering Pharmacare prices you pay and saving our tax dollars.
  • Reversed Liberal cuts to children’s dental care extending coverage to age 17
  • Provided insulin pumps for kids
  • Launched mental health and addiction strategies

The NDP future plans include

  • Opening five more CECs and more work to reduce waiting times
  • Opening nurse-managed clinics to treat chronic diseases like diabetes
  • Helping  rural families pay for well water tests, so everyone has safe clean water

CECs Provide Better Care Sooner

Stephen McNeil says there was no problem at the Annapolis Royal Community Health Centre and zero cost savings when the CEC opened.  Maybe he never sat for hours in the overcrowded waiting room or waited months for a medical appointment. He has turned a deaf ear to repeated threats of closure and attempts to move our medical resources elsewhere.

Instead of paying doctors extra to work over night shifts when they treat very few people, they will now be providing day time primary care to more people, People had to wait weeks and months for an appointment and emergency rooms were filled with people without a family doctor. Now they are getting better care sooner. Young doctors like collaborative practice because they have backups and can focus on practising medicine, and get to spend more time with their families.. Annapolis Royal has no doctor shortage because it is a nice place to work and live.  Minor emergencies are still dealt with locally and more serious emergencies are dealt with onboard the ambulance enroute to regional hospitals.

The CEC helps us deliver better care sooner with the resources we have.  No other province or state has a fully integrated emergency care system and is doing this as well as Nova Scotia.  Because of the NDP ER closures are declining.  But more work is needed.  For example, Nova Scotia is trying out a system that brings community paramedics to nursing homes to provide care on the spot where it is safe to do so.  Results are great so far and it keeps elderly people out of our crowded emergency rooms.  And it keeps them in familiar surroundings where they would much rather be treated.

Annapolis CEC
Annapolis CEC

ER Closures in Middleton

When a crisis persists for more than ten years, it is no longer a crisis but business as usual.  The role and function of Soldiers Memorial Hospital (SMH) needs to be updated in terms of the needs of Valley residents, and current trends in health care delivery which are changing.  This is tough complex problem.  There is no easy solution but it needs leadership and commitment from our MLA which has been lacking.

Sending all the more serious medical cases to Kentville is not a solution..  A CEC is not an alternative because this would leave Annapolis County without a community hospital emergency room capable of handling the most serious emergencies. Subsidizing new recruits or their salaries only creates a revolving door when they find a better placement.  Give the Middleton Hospital a new mandate, modernise it, make it a better place to work and you will find it would be easier to attract and keep new doctors.

Abolishing Regional Health Authorities is a Waste of Money

Merging regional health authorities would be costly diversion. The NDP has asked the Regional Health Authorities to save resources by sharing common services and key managers. A better option provincially rather than abolishing local health authorities would be for the Health Department to focus on developing better functional programs (e.g. mental health, autism) that meet pressing needs and provide high quality accessible care for everyone.

We need more local input not less.  We think that the Regional Health Authorities should have to report to the people of Annapolis on their performance in meeting provincially set standards of service and care.  With the exception of personnel and legal matters, we believe that board members should be required to consult the public about decisions before the board.