Fix mental health system, says Baillie to McNeil

November 22, 2017 at 11:01 am

Auditor General report highlights serious flaws in province-wide mental healthcare.

Today, the Auditor General released a damning report on how mental health services are being managed by the McNeil government in Nova Scotia.

It says the province lacks a plan for delivering province-wide mental health services and mental health wait time standards are not well-managed.

Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says the McNeil government has been absent on addressing the serious gaps in the mental health system.

“The broken mental health system is the healthcare crisis of our time. We have heard from hundreds of Nova Scotians being hurt by inconsistent access and policies in mental health services. A chaotic system is bad for patients,” says Baillie. “How many more reports is it going to take before we see real action? We need an immediate work plan to fix the gaping holes in our mental healthcare system.”

Some key conclusions from the report are:

• The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) lacks a plan for mental health service delivery across Nova Scotia
• Funding at the NSHA is not tied to a plan
• There is no accountability to the NSHA for effectiveness
• Wait time standards are not well-managed
• Access to services varies based on location and time of need

The report offers some key recommendations on how to address these problems. Baillie says too many people and their families are suffering without access to basic mental health and addictions treatment.

“The McNeil Liberals must accept the Auditor General’s recommendations and place a laser-like focus on addressing the long mental healthcare wait times and building a client-centered system that responds to people’s diverse needs,” says Baillie. “This crisis has gone on long enough. It’s time for serious action to fix the mental health system. The McNeil government must step in and take control of the unaccountable, unelected Health Authority.”

The Auditor General’s report also reviewed family doctor resourcing and management of home care support contracts. His findings show serious gaps in both areas.