Blood collection plan needed for illness prevention and health diagnosis

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our healthcare system, delaying vital services like blood collection for some. Now, Nova Scotians are wondering when testing will resume.

Progressive Conservative MLA for Queens-Shelburne, Kim Masland, is hearing the grave concerns from constituents who have been trying to get blood work completed since July.

“Timely testing like blood work is imperative for the health and wellbeing of patients, as well as, for healthcare professionals to properly do their job. Unfortunately, individuals who have tried to book blood work have been getting a voice recording, due to the phone lines being swamped,” says Masland. “We need to be prepared for a second wave and based on what I’m hearing they are not. We already have a backlog of people requiring blood work. Our healthcare cannot fall through the cracks of this government's lack of preparedness.”

Diagnostic testing is vital to our healthcare. Blood tests can result in early intervention for disease and prevention of harmful illness. Without ongoing testing, our healthcare system is at extreme risk of being bombarded with preventable disease and cost our health system millions.

“My colleague's office, John Lohr MLA for Kings North, has heard from a pregnant woman trying to book an appointment for blood work on the request of her doctor and she has not been able to get through,” says Masland. “Prenatal care should not be suffering in our province because of the Liberal government's inability to manage health needs.”

That sentiment has been echoed by others trying to book an appointment.

“I went to the emergency room in July because I wasn’t feeling well and the doctor told me to get blood work to determine the diagnosis. I called over 40 times and just got a voice recording saying the lines were busy,” says David Wamboldt, a Queens-Shelburne resident. “People get sick and they go to the doctor, then they can't get blood work. They don't know what to do or what’s wrong with them. It’s not right.”

Yesterday, PC Healthcare Critic, Karla MacFarlane, called for the resumption of cancer screening such as mammograms, pap tests, pelvic tests and fecal smear kits. These are tests that can be time sensitive. Without a plan for this area of our healthcare system for the fall puts Nova Scotians at great risk.

“As we enter the fall, we know that a second wave of COVID-19 is likely,” says Tim Houston, PC leader. “Nova Scotians need to know that no matter what our province faces, our healthcare system will not fail them. In order to do that, the government needs to ensure that these services will be available across the province.”