HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says Nova Scotia needs a premier who acknowledges there is a crisis in healthcare.
“In the last three weeks, I have been to every corner of this great province and the number one thing that is on the minds of Nova Scotians is healthcare,” Baillie said at a rally in Halifax today. “Everyone knows this election is about healthcare – everyone except Stephen McNeil.”
Last week, during the CBC Leaders’ Debate, McNeil denied there was a crisis in the healthcare system.
With that single sentence, he told Nova Scotians that it is acceptable for our province to have the longest wait times for hip and knee replacement in the country, that it’s satisfactory for people in Cape Breton to wait 354 days for community mental healthcare and that almost 100,000 people don’t have a family doctor.
“There is only one party and one leader who has heard the fears and frustrations of Nova Scotians and who has a concrete plan to make healthcare better,” Baillie said.
A Progressive Conservative government will take concrete action to ease the doctor shortage by:
- Investing $13.5 million to bring more doctors to underserviced areas.
- Expanding the tuition relief program to keep new family doctors in Nova Scotia; and
- Facilitating credential recognition for Canadians who study medicine abroad.
To improve mental health services, a PC government will:
- Establish Mental Health Crisis Response Centres to divert people undergoing a mental health crisis from Emergency Rooms to a facility, staffed by trained mental health professionals, to receive appropriate and informed treatment.
- Put decision-making in healthcare back into local regions.
- Provide all students with access to in-school mental health services.
- Expand mental health courts across the province.
- Make Nova Scotia a leader in mental health research and innovation. A PC government will create a Mental Health and Wellness Institute in concert with a Nova Scotia university and attract mental health experts.
“Tell Stephen McNeil there is a crisis in healthcare,” Baillie concluded. “Elect a new PC government that takes healthcare seriously.”