SYDNEY, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie raises serious concerns about the Cape Breton doctor shortage and health care problems plaguing residents.
He spoke at a press conference in Sydney this morning where he was joined by Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg MLA Alfie MacLeod and Northside-Westmount MLA Eddie Orrell.
“Whether it’s a shortage of family physicians, lengthy surgery wait lists, or a lack of supports for mental health, the McNeil Liberals have been ignoring the numerous health care problems in Cape Breton for far too long,” said Baillie.
“For the past three years, Stephen McNeil did nothing for health care in this region,” added Baillie. “Now that an election is on the horizon, he is making funding announcements like it’s going out of style. It’s only a band aid solution for the problems he’s ignored since he was elected. People in Cape Breton deserve better.”
MLA MacLeod said one of his biggest concerns is the number of specialists leaving the region.
“With Cape Breton’s aging population and growing demand for care, the McNeil government should be preparing for the future by recruiting more specialists,” said MacLeod. “Instead, we continue to see specialists leave the region. There also aren’t enough family doctors and new physicians face frustrating amounts of red tape. None of these concerns are being addressed.”
MLA Orrell said he is troubled by the possibility that emergency room (ER) doctors at Northside General Hospital are facing a possible pay cut of $14 per hour, or about $140 less a day. Orrell has also heard concerns that the ER may close altogether.
“We are calling on the McNeil government to reverse its planned cuts to the pay of Northside ER doctors, and to ensure that ER stays open,” says Orrell. “Following through on either of these careless decisions would be a huge blow to health care in Northside, Sydney and all of Cape Breton.”
Baillie said the current Liberal government has no vision or strategy for fixing health care in Cape Breton. A PC government led by Jamie Baillie would take action by implementing an aggressive doctor recruitment strategy, cut red tape for recruiting and hiring doctors and nurse practitioners, and address the problems tying up emergency rooms province-wide.