HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says he’s proud to stand with Nova Scotia veterans and demand proper care for the men and women who fought for our country.
Today, Baillie was joined by Retired Canadian Army Sergeant Roland Lawless and members of the military and veterans’ community to renew their call on the Liberals to open the Veterans’ Memorial Walk-In Clinic. Baillie introduced An Act Respecting a Walk-in Clinic at the Camp Hill Veterans’ Memorial Building, which calls on the government to consult with veterans respecting the establishment of a medical centre for veterans at the Camp Hill site and establish a time-line for the development and opening of the centre.
“This is long past due,” says Baillie. “These men and women served our country and have come home wounded in ways that we cannot always see. This clinic signals that we are a province that acknowledges the unique needs of our veterans. They’ve earned this.”
The Veterans’ Memorial Walk-In Clinic would be located at the Camp Hill site and would offer veterans access to primary health care in a veteran-centred facility. It recognizes and removes barriers to care, particularly for veterans who avoid using regular clinics and emergency rooms because of PTSD, triggers, and operational stress disorders. Both the federal and provincial governments have a role to play and Baillie is calling on the McNeil Liberals and the Ottawa Liberals to step up to the plate.
Roland Lawless served our country in Croatia and Bosnia. As a veteran with PTSD, he knows first hand the challenges of dealing with civilian clinics and emergency rooms.
“What’s happening now isn’t working and our veterans deserve better,” says Lawless. “Emergency rooms and clinics can be chaotic for veterans. We know they’re simply not seeking medical attention even when they need it because they’re avoiding the risk of triggers and setbacks. This is about the health care that these men and women deserve as Canadians.”
Baillie says the traditional medical model just isn’t working for our veterans. The Veterans’ Walk-In Clinic provides accessible, personal, simple, and highly culturally-relevant frontline physical and mental health services for individuals who often do not find their needs met sufficiently or sensitively in the civilian health care model. The side effects of this are tragic examples of poor health, isolation and suicide.
This would be the first clinic of its kind in Canada.
“Nova Scotia has an opportunity to be a leader in veterans’ care,” says Baillie. “Today, I am calling the Liberals to stand up for veterans and give them the care and dignity they deserve.”
Nova Scotia has the highest concentration of veterans per capita in the country.