MLA Alfie MacLeod says increasing mortality rate proves that there is a crisis in healthcare in Cape Breton.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information recently published data on the performance of the hospitals in Canada, including the, “Cape Breton Regional Health Complex.” According to the Hospital Standardization Mortality Ratio (HSMR), the Cape Breton Regional Health Complex scored worse than any other hospital in Canada by almost double. The HSMR is designed to account for health factors such as age and health complications and creates an expected mortality rate. The Cape Breton Regional Hospital had a mortality rate 44% higher than the expected rate. These numbers are even worse than last year.
MacLeod says this data is deeply troubling, but only proves that staggering gaps in healthcare in Cape Breton are literally putting people’s lives at risk.
“I’m disgusted but I am more afraid for the people here,” says MacLeod. “The grim reality is that these numbers are the direct result of a government who has stripped resource after resource from our hardworking healthcare professionals who are doing the best they can.”
Dr. Margaret Fraser is a family physician and attending physician in the emergency department at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. She says these statistics are shocking but not surprising as CBRH doesn’t have the resources and supports they need to function properly.
“As a physician, it’s devastating to learn that someone who walks into this hospital is less likely to survive than at other hospitals,” says Fraser, noting that many complex conditions, such as those involving vascular surgery, cannot be managed completely in CBRH because they don’t have the specialists. “You could never imagine how heart wrenching it is to try to explain to a family there’s nothing we can do for their loved one. Even more grim when you have to say there is a way, but it’s a four hour drive away and that will be too little too late.”
MacLeod says there is no more time for excuses; Health Minister Randy Delorey needs to get to Cape Breton and tell residents what action the government is taking to mitigate these numbers.
“I have had just about enough of hearing our Health Minister decline invite after invite to come to Cape Breton to talk to people about our horrible healthcare system,” says MacLeod. “These deaths are the responsibility of this government and they need to answer for them.”