Progressive Conservative Health critic and the MLA for Cumberland North, Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin is frustrated by the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s decision to centralize the lifesaving, Legacy of Life program in Halifax.
Last week, Smith-McCrossin learned cuts were made to the Legacy of Life program across Nova Scotia. Nurses were given a 30-day notice and told there will only be a centralized service for this program in Halifax. There are approximately four jobs affected by the decision.
“This is another failure of the Nova Scotia Health Authority,” says Smith-McCrossin. “Many people rely on this important frontline program and the services and education these nurses provide in our communities. The Legacy of Life program is about building relationships. The Health Authority is taking away another vital service from rural Nova Scotians.”
In 2006, the government of Nova Scotia created the Legacy of Life: Nova Scotia Organ and Tissue Program. The program is guided by the vision of ensuring all Nova Scotians know about organ and tissue donation, and choose to donate.
Mike Blakeney is a 13-year transplant recipient and does a lot of grassroots work for Legacy of Life.
“People have a lot of questions when it comes to donating organs and receiving organs,” says Blakeney. “They don’t all live in Halifax. The program is so important because it’s a life line for recipients, donors and families who have questions before, during and after the transplant.”
Smith-McCrossin says the health authority should be focused on centralizing administration to reduce costs, rather than important frontline programs like Legacy of Life.
“My fear is if it’s moved to Halifax then questions will be left unanswered,” says Blakeney. “We need to make sure there are more resources and educational programs in place for donating organs. I don’t see how one person in Halifax can accurately answer and support people from all over Nova Scotia.”