As MLAs return to the Legislature for the first proper session in a year, Nova Scotians continue to face a healthcare crisis - in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PC Leader Tim Houston says improving the health of Nova Scotians is the PC Party’s top priority. In contrast, Premier Rankin did not join his provincial colleagues from across Canada last week in calling for the federal government to increase health transfers in order to help pay for our crumbling health care system.
“Our Party has done a lot of research and a lot of listening to Nova Scotians and health experts since we last met in the Legislature,” says Houston. “I’m proud that our Party has brought forward three detailed plans to restore dignity for seniors, improve access to primary health, and introduce universal mental health care.”
After more than two weeks on the job, Premier Rankin has yet to make an announcement related to healthcare. The new Premier was also hesitant to accept 13,000 more vaccine doses from the federal government out of fear that it would complicate the existing rollout plan.
While the PCs continue to make healthcare their number one priority, the same cannot be said for the governing Liberals.
“The idea the Premier would skip out on a joint effort with other provinces calling for more healthcare investments from Ottawa says a lot about the new Premier’s priorities,” says Houston. "Last week we saw the Premier hesitate to take more vaccines, I don't want to see him hesitate to advocate for, or to accept support from the federal government to fix our healthcare system.”
“If the Liberals don't understand that Nova Scotia could use this healthcare investment, they just need to talk to Nova Scotians waiting for a doctor, waiting over an hour for an ambulance, waiting almost a year for mental health services or waiting for a bed in a seniors home."
Healthcare was in crisis even before the pandemic and it was only to the credit of Nova Scotians that we were able to keep our case count low enough to avoid completely overrunning our healthcare system.
“Seven provincial premiers are united in calling for a 35% increase that will go up by 5% every year. Our Premier should have been beside them, as this investment would go a long way and Nova Scotians should not have to wait until a change of government to have a premier who will advocate for higher health transfers” says Houston. “I urge the Premier to join his provincial colleagues in calling for this funding to help rebuild our healthcare system.”