Glavine must explain Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners program delays

June 22, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Still no provider for SANE services across parts of Nova Scotia

Chris d'Entremont, MLA for Argyle Barrington

BARRINGTON, NS – Progressive Conservative Health Critic Chris d’Entremont says Health Minister Leo Glavine has to answer for yet another broken promise on the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners program.

A request for proposals was put forward in April to bring the long-awaited SANE program to Cape Breton, Annapolis Valley, Southwestern and South Shore areas. The government release stated the contract would be awarded by late spring.

However, on the Nova Scotia Procurement website, the awarded date, amount, vendor and memo for SANE services in Western and Eastern Health zones remains blank and unfilled.

“This minister has repeatedly promised that help is on the way for victims of sexual assault,” says d’Entremont. “We’re now into summer and there is no provider to deliver these important services. Regardless of where you live, a victim of a sexual assault should have access to SANE services when they need them most.”

This is the second broken promise from the Liberal government related to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners program. The government set aside $700,000 for the SANE program in Spring 2015 and promised to have it up and running by the end of the year, but nothing happened.

One family doctor from Kentville attended training with a SANE nurse and indicated the lack of these services could cause “retraumatization to an already traumatized patient”

Community organizations would like to start delivering the program where it’s needed most, but the government is dragging its feet.

“When people come forward they should not be further traumatized,” says d’Entremont. “Back in March 2015, Minister Glavine said waiting for rape kits was ‘absolutely unacceptable’ and promised to get SANE services in these parts of the province. It’s unacceptable and indefensible to promise a vital service for sexual assault survivors and then fail to deliver time and time again.”