Cape Breton doctor retention a failure under Liberal government

The McNeil Liberal government’s inability to recruit and retain doctors is deepening the healthcare crisis in Cape Breton, says Murray Ryan, MLA for Northside-Westmount.

“Doctors and other healthcare workers want to care for the communities they belong to, but more and more they are feeling let down and taken for granted by the Liberal government,” says Ryan. “How can we expect to recruit new doctors to the Cape Breton area when we can’t retain the ones that we already have?”

Nova Scotians recently heard the story of Dr. Phil Smith, who is now practicing mainly out of Truro after making allegations of being treated poorly in his Cape Breton practice. When Dr. Smith needed time off to recover from a surgical procedure, he says he was denied leave by the NSHA. This led him to switch his primary location of practice, since he has lost faith in leadership at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.

“There is no denying that Nova Scotia is in a healthcare crisis, and a primary symptom is the doctor shortage” says Ryan. “If our doctors feel so abandoned in Cape Breton that they are moving their services elsewhere, then the government needs to step up and take action.”

Murray Ryan says that this issue is yet another example of how doctor recruitment and retention has failed under the leadership of Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government.

While the McNeil Liberals boast of statistics from cherry-picked regions, Cape Bretoners fail to see the results as they continue to struggle to access care.