Progressive Conservative Health critic Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin says the McNeil government must be held accountable for the crisis in healthcare delivery in Nova Scotia.
Smith-McCrossin has introduced a bill that would create a new Health Outcomes Auditor, within the Office of the Auditor General. The Auditor would independently verify the performance of the IWK Health Centre and the provincial health authority and make public by March 31st of each year an annual report summarizing any health audits of investigations conducted or recommendations made in the previous year. The auditor would measure outcomes and has the ability to survey patients on their experiences.
“We heard people loud and clear that they want more accountability in our healthcare system. We want to shine a light on the entire system and make the changes necessary to deliver world-class healthcare for Nova Scotians,” says Smith-McCrossin. “We believe this is a practical step that the McNeil government should adopt. If they have nothing to hide, they should welcome this new oversight.”
In the Auditor General’s 2014 report on Surgical Waitlist and Operating Room Utilization, it called for regular reporting in health.
The budget for healthcare makes up more than half of the overall provincial budget. Nova Scotia also has a rapidly aging population, meaning there are fewer in the labour force and more people needing healthcare services.
Dr. Ajantha Jayabarathan is a family doctor practicing in Halifax.
“Collaboration and trust between physicians and the NSHA is very low,” says Dr. Ajantha Jayabarathan. “A health system Auditor General office is critical to oversee the effectiveness of the newly minted and amalgamated health zones. It must be done arm’s length and without bias.”
“People have lost trust in the McNeil government and their appointed health authority,” says Smith-McCrossin. “We know there are major issues in our communities and the Minister of Health hides behind the IWK and the Health Authority Boards, rather than accepting accountability. It’s time for action.”