Seniors advocate concerned about next round of Pharmacare changes

September 08, 2016 at 9:07 am

Valerie White says seniors deserve answers now from the McNeil government

BEDFORD, NS – High-profile seniors advocate, Valerie White, is concerned about Stephen McNeil’s next attempt to change the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program.

Premier McNeil postponed the changes to the program after they were widely criticized by seniors who felt threatened and that they were not consulted. He promised province-wide consultations before a second round of changes are made to the program for the 2017-18 budget year. Still no schedule for consultations has been announced.

“Seniors are rightfully frightened and don’t trust the McNeil government,” says White, the former Nova Scotia Seniors’ Secretariat and Department of Seniors CEO. “If there are going to be changes to the Pharmacare Program in the next budget, we wanted to see them and a schedule for consultation outlined before the end of August. The McNeil government is silent and that’s got people really worried.”

Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie agrees. Stephen McNeil’s dishonest changes to the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program brought into question the integrity of his government, says Baillie.

“Seniors deserve a lot of credit for fighting back against Stephen McNeil’s dishonest changes to their Pharmacare Program,” says Baillie. “We must remain vigilant and keep a close eye on any new changes Stephen McNeil and his government bring forward.”

“Stephen McNeil tried to pull a fast one last time and it backfired,” says White. “We won’t be fooled this time. We are on guard and ready to fight back.”

In June, Health Minister Leo Glavine said he was taking the summer to ponder his political future. He still has not announced whether he plans to re-offer in the next election.

White says with important issues like the Pharmacare changes, the crisis in the mental health system and the shortage of family doctors, it’s time for the Health Minister to make up his mind.

“Healthcare is a priority for many people and especially for seniors,” says White. “It’s time for the Minister of Health to make a decision because these lingering healthcare issues need to be addressed.”