Long-term care wait list growing, facilities deteriorating

September 04, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Brine: NDP failing to address crisis

JEDDORE, NS – Eastern Shore Progressive Candidate candidate Steve Brine says the Dexter NDP’s failure to provide long-term care beds to Nova Scotia seniors has reached a crisis where existing facilities are failing to meet basic living standards.

Brine says The Birches, a 41-bed nursing home in Musquodoboit Harbour, is in dire need of upgrades. Brine and PC leader Jamie Baillie met with residents at The Birches last week and toured the facility.

“Rooms at The Birches do not meet new facility design standards and fail to provide the comfort our seniors deserve,” said Brine. “While the number of seniors waiting for care grows, residents at facilities like The Birches are not given the privacy or dignity they deserve because the NDP abandoned the Continuing Care Strategy.”

According to statistics from the Department of Health and Wellness, the number of seniors waiting for long-term care stood at 2,334 in May, more than a 50 per cent increase since 2009 when the NDP took office. Brine said the lack of any new long-term care beds and the NDP’s costly record show the NDP cannot be trusted. After breaking their word to not raise the HST and to keep ERs open 24/7, the NDP’s reluctance to help seniors needing long-term care is another broken promise on a long and growing list.

“The NDP stopped the Continuing Care Strategy and did not build a single new long-term care bed since taking office,” Brine said. “People who have spent their whole lives contributing to this province are being short-changed under the NDP as they wait.”

While in opposition, the NDP was vocal about the long-term care crisis and the growing demand the province’s aging population creates. In a January 2008 edition of the Yarmouth Vanguard, Darrell Dexter, then leader of the Opposition, said, “Long-term care continues to be that issue which is crippling so much of the system.”

Brine said the Liberals remain silent on the issue but Jamie Baillie, a chartered accountant and the former President of Credit Union Atlantic, will make seniors’ care a priority.