The following is a fact check on a recent interview from Liberal Health Minister regarding plans for fixing health care.
Liberal claim: “We have the only plan that’s really targeting some of the root challenges in our healthcare system.”
Fact check: If the Liberals had the planning and the vision to address the root challenges in our healthcare system, we would not have a worsened healthcare crisis after eight years of a Liberal government. Liberal planning and Liberal targets led Nova Scotia to a situation where 70,000 people do not have a family doctor, 399 people died last year waiting for surgery and 53 people died at Northwood.
The PC Party is the only party putting forward clear, costed solutions to reduce the pressure on the healthcare system including:
- Investing in in-home treatment for chronic illnesses;
- A physician pension program to retain doctors;
- Building at least 2,500 long-term care beds to reduce patients in hospitals;
- Lifting the gag order on health care workers; and
- Opening up operating rooms beyond 9 to 5.
Churchill claim: The Liberals stated that for doctor recruitment, modern facilities will help recruit physicians.
Fact check: Bricks and mortar will never make up for the lack of respect the Liberals have shown physicians. Over the past eight years, the Liberals have created a culture where healthcare workers are afraid to speak out about issues in the system and are leaving the province to work in other jurisdictions. To improve recruitment, we need to change the culture; and the only way to change the culture is to change the government.
Liberal claim: The Liberals have stated that virtual care is “not something we were fully taking advantage of before COVID-19” and have pledged to expand access if re-elected.
Fact check: The Liberals voted against PC motions to make virtual care permanent. They mocked PC leader Tim Houston for advocating for virtual care. The Liberals only announced a pilot project for virtual primary care in select communities after the PCs put out a detailed proposal in their Hope for Health plan.
Liberal claim: “There has been a lot of strain on our system and of course people are tired in the system. It’s important for them to know that more help is on the way.”
Fact check: This is true! There has been a lot of strain on the health system as ER closures have increased 400% under the Liberal government and the waitlist for a doctor is nearing 70,000 people. But help is on the way, and it comes in the form of a PC government.
Missing from the Liberal healthcare platform:
- At least 2,000 long-term care beds, to meet the growing needs for our aging population;
- Opening billing codes, to provide universal access to mental health care services;
- A plan to address chronic illnesses outside of a hospital;
- The establishment of a three-digit, mental health crisis line;
- Plans to open operating rooms beyond bankers hours, to reduce surgery wait times;
- A return to local decision-making and regional planning to allow communities to take charge of physician recruitment; and
- About $300M in overdue investments in healthcare.