The Western Health Zone is experiencing “unprecedented” staffing challenges as Iain Rankin’s healthcare crisis looms over the Western part of the province.
Yesterday, the Western Zone Medical Executive Director for the Nova Scotia Health Authority described the staffing shortages as “unusual” and “unprecedented,” something that has been a constant issue at the doorsteps for Shelburne’s PC candidate Nolan Young.
“We are seeing healthcare in our communities at its worst state more than anyone can remember,” says Young. “People are worried that when they or their vulnerable loved ones need care, it won’t be there for them. Whether it’s emergency room closures, doctor shortages, or ambulance wait times - the numbers are going in the wrong direction.”
The Queens General ER is experiencing closures for the first time since it opened in 1948, and the Roseway Hospital is continuing its chronic closures. The Roseway was closed for 30% of the time last year.
Nova Scotians looking for a family doctor rose to more than 25,000 in the Western Zone, which has a higher number of people without a family practice than the other zones.
“While Iain Rankin is claiming progress in health care, things are getting much worse in our communities,” says Becky Druhan, PC candidate for Lunenburg West. “It’s clear that a new government with new ideas and a comprehensive plan is needed to get healthcare back on track.”
A Tim Houston PC government will introduce the following healthcare solutions:
- Establishing a physician pension fund
- Building a clinical health resources plan for every region
- Implementing a focussed strategy to support internationally trained doctors, including increasing the number of of residency seats for Canadians trained abroad
In addition to chronic ER closures and rampant doctor shortages, ambulance shortage Code Criticals have covered the entire Western Zone at least 20 times since Iain Rankin called the statement of emergency election.
“Entire health zones should not be left vulnerable,” says Druhan. “When people call 9-1-1, when people rush to an ER, or when people need to consult a doctor, it shouldn’t matter what health zone you live in - you should have access to care.”