In the 2013 election campaign, Stephen McNeil promised a doctor for every Nova Scotian. Not only did he break that promise, his government has not been able to keep track of the number of doctors in the province, Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie said.
“It is clear that the McNeil Liberals have mismanaged our healthcare,” Baillie said. “They deny a crisis that everyone else sees. It is going to take a new PC government to get serious about fixing healthcare.”
Viola Aylward feels let down by Stephen McNeil and his broken promise of a doctor for her. The 85-year-old widow from Lower Sackville, has been looking for a family doctor for 12 years. She believes her health would be better if she had a regular doctor to consult.
“You need someone to tell you if you are doing the right things or eating the right things,” she said. “You need a doctor to guide you.”
A Freedom of Information request shows that McNeil government didn’t even know how many doctors were coming into Nova Scotia.
As recently as January 2017, the McNeil government couldn’t say how many people were on the waiting list for a family doctor.
This March, the Progressive Conservatives asked for the number of new family doctors recruited to Nova Scotia since 2012. After saying they needed more time to answer, the Nova Scotia Health Authority could only provide numbers for 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Also in March, during a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, the CEO of the Nova Scotia Health Authority couldn’t say exactly how many family doctors were practising in the province.
“This is no way to run our healthcare system,” Baillie said. “This is how the McNeil government created a crisis in healthcare. People like Viola Aylward are paying th price for their mismanagement.”
Baillie says the behind the scenes confusion about the number of doctors in the province explains why McNeil failed to accept his invitation for a special debate on healthcare.