SYDNEY RIVER, NS – Progressive Conservative MLAs Alfie MacLeod and Eddie Orrell say the McNeil government must stop dragging its feet when it comes to addressing the doctor shortage in Cape Breton.
“Stephen McNeil keeps giving Cape Bretoners false hope about when they will finally have a family doctor,” says MacLeod, MLA for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg. “This problem isn’t going to simply go away on its own. It’s time to address this issue, so people here aren’t left to struggle without a family physician.”
The McNeil government hastily announced a collaborative health-care clinic for Sydney in June, just two days before more than 900 people showed up to a public meeting about the local doctor shortage. The clinic, scheduled to open in October, was delayed until late January or February. There still has not been an update on when residents can expect the clinic to be up and running.
“It’s clear McNeil isn’t taking this seriously and had nothing planned past the press conference,” says Orrell, MLA for Northside-Westmount. “It has been nine months since the collaborative care clinic was first announced. The McNeil government even said there were three doctors lined up to work there. If that really was the case, what’s causing the delays?”
According to the Nova Scotia Health Authority, there are 25,000 Nova Scotians who don’t have a family doctor. However, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, which is known as the authority on health statistics in Canada, says that number is much higher, at around 95,000.
“Stephen McNeil already broke his promise of a doctor for every Nova Scotia,” says MacLeod. “There is no more time for excuses and delays. The Liberals must act now and get the collaborative health care clinic in Sydney open, so Cape Bretoners in need can finally receive the health care they deserve.”