Queens-Shelburne MLA Kim Masland is calling on the Liberal Minister of Health, Randy Delorey, to immediately hire a pediatrician for the South Shore.
This week, Masland was invited to an interagency meeting with fellow South Shore MLAs. It was hosted by SchoolsPlus from the South Shore Regional Centre of Education, school psychologists, and an early child interventionist to discuss how children on the South Shore need better access to pediatricians. Currently, there is only one pediatrician available, one day a week, in Chester. Their contract ends in Fall of 2018.
“It’s unacceptable that our children don’t have access to a pediatrician. Research tells us that the first few years of a child’s development are the most critical,” says Masland. “It’s equally unacceptable that parents have to spend unnecessary amounts of travel time and gas money when we should have one in the area.”
In September, a pediatrician left and, as of May 9th, the ad for a replacement has not been posted.
“I’m at a loss for words to hear that a position hasn’t even been posted. I know Minister Delorey continues to deny there’s a crisis in healthcare, but surely this has to trouble him,” says Masland. “Why have nine months passed and the job hasn’t even been posted?”
Masland can’t help but wonder if the South Shore will ever get another pediatrician.
“McNeil and his cabinet keep telling Nova Scotians that doctors are ‘on the way’ but how can a doctor even consider coming to the South Shore if the position hasn’t been advertised?” asks Masland. “We have lost almost a year waiting for the Liberals to take action on this issue. How long will Premier McNeil make these families wait?”