OpEd: Closure of Cape Breton Hospitals

July 10, 2018 at 12:31 pm

We are very concerned about the state of healthcare in Cape Breton following the McNeil government’s recent announcement to close the Northside and New Waterford hospitals. The government abruptly made this decision to cancel important services without any concrete details for the way ahead.

Families in Cape Breton deserve a health care system they can trust to be there when they need it.  Instead we’re left wondering what’s happening and when.

The McNeil government has failed at every turn to address the doctor shortage, which is one of the biggest issues facing Cape Bretoners. You can change the bricks and mortar all you want, but if there are no doctors or nurses, we are still back at square one. The lack of details will make doctor recruitment efforts even more difficult. Who would want to start a new job that is peppered with uncertainty?

There are also serious questions being asked about other important services offered at those hospitals that are now in jeopardy, like the pain clinic and plastic surgery. The people who rely on those services need answers.

During the announcement, the Premier said, “this is not about job loss.” The Premier must not understand that the closure of a hospital affects more than just healthcare professionals. Janitorial staff, food services employees and maintenance workers. These are jobs people depend on. When you close these hospitals, you put people out of work.

Premier, you have already made your decision regarding the hospitals. You can’t drop a bomb on people and expect them to say thank you. We demand you come clean about what your plan is going forward.

 

Eddie Orrell

MLA, Northside Westmount

PC Health Critic