Rankin Health Care Crisis costs Eastern Passage their only primary care provider

The only constituency in Nova Scotia without a family doctor is about to lose their sole nurse practitioner, as the Rankin Liberals’ health care crisis gives Eastern Passage another reason to vote for fixing healthcare.

Barbara Adams, the PC candidate for Eastern Passage, says real leadership is needed in order to find an agreement to keep the nurse practitioner and prevent the community from losing it’s only primary care provider.

She has already spoken to both parties and has urged them to go back to the table.

“It’s bad enough that Eastern Passage is the only constituency in Nova Scotia without a family doctor, without a collaborative care centre, and without mental health services. To lose our nurse practitioner is to lose our only local access to primary care,” says Adams. “The Rankin Liberals have failed to provide our community with access to care and it’s clear that only a change in government can bring solutions to the healthcare crisis.”

Last week, Ocean View Manor gave notice to the Nova Scotia Health Authority that the contract to host Eastern Passage’s nurse practitioner will be terminated in February, following a failure to negotiate a new agreement.

The Nurse Practitioner was only placed in Eastern Passage after Adams’ repeated and relentless efforts. Thanks to her work on the Eastern Passage and Area Action Committee, her community received a grant through the Culture Innovation Fund’s Healthy Communities Stream to complete community consultation on the need for a physician and a strategy to recruit a family doctor.

“Our community worked tirelessly, jumping through hoops, putting forward proposals, and working together to access funding and attract a nurse practitioner to our community,” says Adams. “The People of Eastern Passage deserve better than a Liberal government that has no respect for the hard work of our community.”

Nova Scotia’s doctor shortage has never been worse as the waitlist increased to 71,666, representing 7.3% of the population.

“How can Iain Rankin and his Liberals look Nova Scotians in the eyes and ask for a new mandate when they have failed so drastically to ensure access to care?” asked Adams.

PC Leader Tim Houston is the only party leader who has stated that healthcare will be his number one priority as Premier. Houston’s plan, Solutions for Nova Scotia, includes the following commitments on physician recruitment and retention:

  • Respect and value our healthcare providers through improved salaries for family physicians and increased local decision-making;
  • Establish a physician pension fund tied to return of service agreements;
  • Establish a clinical health services plan in every region;
  • Implement a focused strategy to support internationally-trained graduates, including increasing the number of residency seats for Canadian students trained abroad; and
  • Create mentoring relationships for new graduates.