Respect, Healthy Staffing Levels key to fixing Liberal Healthcare Crisis

With too many Nova Scotians waiting for access to long-term, or primary care, it’s clear that only a PC Government will make the investments needed to fix staffing levels across the province.

Tim Houston has presented clear solutions for a healthcare system in crisis, including hiring 2,000 staff to support the long-term care sector.

“This election, voters have a choice:” says Houston, “between the solutions to bring hope to our healthcare system and dignity to our seniors, or a government led by Iain Rankin, who sat at the Cabinet table and denied funding to Northwood in 2017, 2018 and 2019.”

The PC plan includes amending the Homes for Special Care Act to ensure that every long-term care property maintains staff care levels of combined Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs) sufficient to satisfy at least 4.1 hours of care per resident as recommended by the Nova Scotia Nurses Union. Currently, some long-term care residents are receiving only 2.45 hours of care per day due to a lack of staff.

To reach the recommended levels of staffing care, Nova Scotia requires an additional 600 nurses and 1,400 CCAs.

“The Rankin Liberals have spent the last eight years balancing the budget on the back of our healthcare system and our seniors in long-term care. Once the election is over, they’ll do it again,” said Barbara Adams, PC Candidate in Eastern Passage. Adams, who volunteered in a long-term care facility during the pandemic, says the province has to be ready for more seniors in need of a bed.

“Nova Scotia has one of the largest populations of seniors in the country at 18.9%. This means that the need for long-term care will rise dramatically in the coming years.”

In order to assist with the recruitment of additional staff, a PC government would fully reinstate the CCA training grant that was cancelled by the Liberals in 2013. This grant funds 50% of the tuition costs of the CCA program and would include a two-year commitment to stay in Nova Scotia following the training. This commitment is in addition to the PC Plan to build 2,500 additional long-term care beds in the next three years after the Liberals only built 57 new beds in the last eight years.

Houston’s PC plan will also recruit and retain doctors, and keep mobile health professionals like paramedics on the road saving lives rather than being stuck in hospital hallways.

“Whether Iain Rankin wants to admit it or not, the bill is on the table,” said Houston. “Nova Scotians want a government that will make investments in healthcare, and failure to make those investments is a failure to lead.”