Liberal government fueling health care crisis in Nova Scotia

July 12, 2016 at 3:15 pm

One month after public meeting in Sydney, communication with physicians remains poor

Alfie MacLeod, MLA

SYDNEY RIVER, NS – Today marks one month since 1,000 people gathered for a public meeting in Sydney to discuss the doctor shortage crisis.

PC MLA Alfie MacLeod is concerned that despite more and more doctors coming forward with issues, doctors continue to be ignored by Health Minister Leo Glavine.

“Doctors in this province are hardworking and always looking for ways to improve the delivery of health care to their patients,” says MacLeod. “This government repeatedly ignores or flatly rejects their ideas out of hand. What kind of relationship are they creating?”

In June, Minister Glavine said that he and the Health Department need to improve communications between doctors and the Nova Scotia Health Authority leadership.

Dr. Jeanne Ferguson in Cape Breton said it best: “Our physicians are demoralized.” Nearly a month later, doctors are still frustrated and at the end of their ropes.

“We’ve certainly witnessed these consequences in Cape Breton, but now you can see the effect it’s having in every corner of the province,” says MacLeod. “We’re in the midst of a crisis in this province and Minister Glavine refuses to listen to the people on the frontlines. His refusal to even listen to them erodes hope by the day.”

Palliative-care doctor Bob Martel recently announced he would no longer be providing acute palliative care services for the Strait-Richmond area while Dr. Ajantha Jayabarathan today wrote that poor communication continues to be a major obstacle to addressing the problems doctors and patients face.

“We’re hearing this story again and again,” says MacLeod. “A doctor comes forward with an idea based on their years of experience only to have it flatly rejected. The Liberal Government continues to promise solutions while doing absolutely nothing to actually solve the problems. And how can anything change when doctors are treated with such disrespect?”

Faced with a rising tide of frustration in Cape Breton, the Health Minister announced yet another impending proposal that would see locum doctors travel to different locations as needed. It’s unknown if doctors were consulted, if potential doctors would be willing to take on these positions, or where the medical records for these patients would be maintained.

“Minister Glavine may be content to lurch from one health crisis to the next, but Nova Scotians have had enough. How will this get a doctor for every Nova Scotian, like Premier McNeil promised? When will he start listening to health care professionals?”