Houston, PCs champion better healthcare with call for emergency debate on ambulance services, 16 pieces of health legislation

Nova Scotians know that our healthcare system is in crisis. The PC Caucus is listening, and in the first day back, tabled 16 separate pieces of health legislation to improve it, and called for an emergency debate on ambulance services.

Nova Scotia PC Leader Tim Houston said the Speech from the Throne showed Nova Scotians that - like his predecessor - the current Premier is unable and unwilling to deal with the healthcare crisis.

“The Premier has made it abundantly clear that healthcare is not a priority for the Liberals,” says PC Leader Tim Houston. “My team and I are ready to tackle the problems facing healthcare - including ambulance services - with practical solutions.”

The PCs launched their Hope for Health blueprint of reform in early February. It targets six areas long overdue for a healthcare reform across the province.

  • Access to Care
  • Recruitment & Retention
  • Prevention & Education
  • System Modernization
  • Addressing Chronic Illness
  • Local Decision-Making

Houston says Nova Scotians have had enough of empty soundbites and deserve comprehensive solutions. He hopes Premier Rankin will follow his lead and calls these bills for debate.

“To date, Premier Rankin has shown no interest in the healthcare crisis,” says Houston. “His priorities are light on healthcare, but he can show he understands the urgency by passing our legislation.”

The following legislation was introduced:

Homes for Special Care Act, Respecting Staffing requires a long-term care property to maintain sufficient staffing levels of RNs, LPNs, and CCAs to provide a minimum of 4.1 hours of care per day per resident. This is in line with a report commissioned by the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union, which concluded that Nova Scotia needed to add an additional 600 nursing and 1,400 continuing care positions in order to meet the needs of our long-term care population (an average of 4.1 care hours per patient per day, up from the current average of 3.45 hours).

Frailty Strategy Act will mandate the Minister of Health to convene a conference of stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategy designed to increase provincial awareness about frailty and enhance its prevention, identification, treatment, and management.

Amendments to the Medical Act, Respecting Sexual Misconduct will increase public safety and decrease the risk of permitting physicians with a history of sexual misconduct to practice in Nova Scotia.

The Concussion Strategy Act requires the Minister of Health and Wellness to convene a conference of stakeholders, including representatives from the medical community, patients’ groups and non-profit organizations for the purpose of developing a comprehensive Provincial Concussion strategy.

Amendments to Gunshot Wounds Mandatory Reporting Act will require every hospital, facility or service that treats an individual for injuries resulting from a severe beating or other severe intentional injury to report to the local police service. This is already mandatory for gunshot and stab wounds and will further increase public safety and aid police to catch those who shoot, stab or beat others.

The Palliative Care Strategy Act would compel the Minister of Health to provide outlines and updates on the Nova Scotia palliative care strategy, with a focus on long-term care and emergency health.

Amendments to the Personal Health Information Act to ensure that Nova Scotians are notified if personal health information is compromised.

Changes to the Health Protection Act entitles victims and their families to updates on investigations into their case every thirty days. This bill also ensures victims and families have access to full reports, notes, and work products pertaining to the investigation at its conclusion.

Pressure Sore Accountability Act to protect and prevent seniors in long-term care residents from pressure sores.

Health Authorities Act (Code Census) to require the government to report instances of “code census” where an emergency department is overcrowded with patients due to a lack of available beds within a hospital.

Chief Dental Officer Act to create the position that would be mandated to advance oral health through health promotion and education. By creating a Chief Dental Officer, Nova Scotians will have a better idea of the current state of oral health in the province.

Healthcare Ombudsman Act to institute an officer of the legislature whose duties would include ensuring the rights and interests of patients are protected and that Nova Scotians have access to appropriate services.

Health Authority Transparency Act to require the Nova Scotia Health Authority in Halifax to publicly disclose every payment and expenditure in excess of $25,000 except for a payment made to a practising physician.

Additions to the Auditor General Act to introduce a Healthcare Outcomes Auditor to audit the IWK Health Centre and the provincial health authority in the delivery of quality healthcare to Nova Scotians.

Lyme Disease Strategy Act to gather stakeholders, including representatives of the medical community and patients' groups, for the purpose of developing a comprehensive provincial strategy to combat Lyme disease.

Emergency Aid at School Act to ensure public schools have access to and training for epinephrine, an automated external defibrillator and naloxone.