Robert Brooks of Pictou County was told his psychiatrist will be leaving at the end of the month. Brooks is bipolar and has anxiety and depression issues.
Brooks says the doctor cited ‘being overworked’ and ‘having vacation time rejected by the health authority’ as two of the reasons he’s leaving.
“I don’t blame the doctor for saying he’s overworked,” says Brooks. “How does this government and health authority think it’s okay for one doctor to take care of a whole county. Patients who see a psychiatrist have a variety of issues and some of us must see our doctor more often than others. I recognize it’s a lot for one doctor.”
Karla MacFarlane, the MLA for Pictou West, is frustrated that the McNeil government is not taking this most important health issue seriously.
“This situation is out of control,” says MacFarlane. “We are in a crisis. The McNeil government denies there’s anything wrong but I’m deeply concerned for the well-being of Pictou-area residents.”
Brooks has called the Minister of Health’s office, as well as, the Premier’s office demanding someone take responsibility for this mess. He was not offered any reassurance or solutions from either office.
Brooks has spoken out before when the McNeil government suddenly closed the Aberdeen mental health unit, creating even more turmoil for people in Pictou County.
“I will continue to hold the Liberal government accountable for providing better access to healthcare,” says MacFarlane. “I, like many Nova Scotians, am perplexed as to why the Liberal government continues to deny the realities of the declining healthcare system.”
There are 45,000 residents living in Pictou County. One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness throughout their lifetime.