In the face of a deepening health crisis and a McNeil Liberal government that refuses to listen to the concerns of Nova Scotians, the province needs a healthcare ombudsman, says Progressive Conservative leader Tim Houston.
“Many people are worried that the system won’t be there when they need it and many others have concerns about their own experiences,” Houston said. “A healthcare ombudsman could help hold the Liberals accountable and ensure that the rights and interests of Nova Scotians aren’t ignored. They could also provide guidance to the government and feedback on how to improve the system.”
This week, Houston and the PC Caucus visited Cape Breton. Closed signs were on the doors of four local emergency rooms.
-Glace Bay Hospital’s emergency department is closed for the month of August.
-Northside General Hospital’s emergency department was closed. It reopened on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 8:00 a.m.
-Victoria County Memorial Hospital’s emergency department was closed on Monday and Thursday.
-New Waterford Consolidated Hospital’s emergency department was closed Monday and Wednesday.
Unfortunately, these closures are not unique to Cape Breton.
-Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital’s emergency department was closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
-All Saints Springhill Hospital emergency department was closed on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday.
-Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital Collaborative Emergency Centre in Tatamagouche was closed on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday and Sunday.
-North Cumberland Memorial Hospital emergency department in Pugwash was closed Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
-The South Cumberland Collaborative Emergency Centre in Parrsboro was closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
-Annapolis Community Health Centre’s Collaborative Emergency Centre was closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
“Frequent emergency room closures have become the new normal under the Liberals,” Houston said. “We need a strong, independent voice telling the Premier this situation is not acceptable.”
The Healthcare Ombudsman would be an officer of the legislature whose duties would include ensuring the rights and interests of patients are protected and that Nova Scotians have access to appropriate services. The Healthcare Ombudsman would provide advice to government and communities about the availability, effectiveness, responsiveness and relevance of services and have the authority to review and investigate matters affecting the rights of patients.