For Nova Scotians in need of access to dialysis treatment, the playing field is uneven. Some Nova Scotians with kidney problems are forced to travel for hours three times a week, while others have access in their communities.
PC MLA Pat Dunn, Pictou Centre, raised the issue Friday in Question Period citing the lack of access in Pictou County. While the pandemic has taken many of the headlines, the pre-existing healthcare crisis is still very real, and has shown no signs of improvement.
“People have to sit in a chair for five hours at a time, and need someone to drive them to and from appointments,” says Dunn. “It’s not something that you can easily travel for on your own.”
Argyle-Barrington MLA Colton LeBlanc says it’s no better in the Southwestern part of the province, where his constituents are forced to travel multiple times a week.
“When Nova Scotians are undergoing this life-saving treatment, the last thing they need is to worry about getting to an appointment,” says LeBlanc. “They don’t want to burden their family to take multiple days off a week, and sometimes, that isn’t possible.”
Recently, chairs were added in Dartmouth, Halifax, Kentville, Digby, Bridgewater, and Glace Bay. Dunn says equitable healthcare means ensuring that all parts of the province should have access to a standard of care. The Minister of Health indicated that he would look into the issue.
The PCs have a plan to provide Hope for Health that focuses on system modernization and restores local decision-making.
“We can no longer afford to be overlooked,” said Dunn. “Local patients deserve to have their treatment in their community.”