Premier says McNeil government would hurt local health care

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Darrell Cole
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During Saturday campaign stop in Amherst

Premier Darrell Dexter was in Amherst early Saturday to express concerns for what a Liberal government could do to local health care.

Premier Darrell Dexter joins with Dr. Brian Ferguson, Cumberland North NDP candidate Brian Skabar and Cumberland Health Authority board chairman Bruce Saunders to express concerns with what a Liberal government could do to local health care.

AMHERST – Premier Darrell Dexter said all facts show that the McNeil super bureaucracy is bad for patient care and Nova Scotians will end up paying more in administration costs, not less.

The premier made the comments during a campaign stop in Amherst on Saturday. 

“Mr. McNeil is trying to sell a scheme with a faulty premise, a centralized super bureaucracy saves money.  The fact is they don’t.  He has not been able to answer that question or cite a specific example of where a super bureaucracy has worked.  In both Alberta and New Brunswick administrative costs went up and the level of patient care went down,” said Dexter.

The premier said McNeil wants to take health care back to the 1990s.  That kind of health care means 1,600 closed hospital beds, 1,000 nurses forced out of nursing, and a freeze on long-term care beds. 

“More troubling than the costs associated with a centralized super bureaucracy is the fact that it’s bad for patient care. It means there will be less focus on seniors, children and families and instead time will be spent on administrative paper work.”

Dr. Brian Ferguson, a physician with 25 years of experience caring for families in Cumberland County is also concerned about patient care under a super bureaucracy. 

“The John Savage days of the 1990s were some of the darkest when it came to health care in Cumberland County.  We just can’t go back to those days,” Ferguson told the premier. “As a physician, it concerns me to see the reports coming out of Alberta on the impact their restructuring has had on patients and the physicians who advocate for them.  We should avoid these needless restructuring moves--they just cause chaos.”

Dexter met with Dr. Ferguson to listen to his concerns for patient care under both the Stephen McNeil and Jamie Baillie super bureaucracy.

“For the first time in my life I’m not voting Liberal or Conservative.  I’m voting NDP to protect health care in Nova Scotia,” said Dr. Ferguson.

Dexter said Nova Scotians have a clear choice.

“The can go back to the failed Liberal health policies of the past that resulted in cuts, closures and job losses or move forward with the NDP’s practical solutions like CEC’s to keep ERs open, nurse managed clinics and a focus on patient care,” said the NDP leader. “Stephen McNeil is wrong on jobs and wrong on health care.”

Organizations: NDP

Geographic location: Amherst, Alberta, Cumberland County New Brunswick Nova Scotia

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  • Robert
    October 05, 2013 - 23:48

    Did the Premier also tell locals what the massive debt is going to do to healthcare? Did he explain that having to pay for almost two billion dollars worth of extra debt, created by his government no less, thereby increasing our payments to cover said debt, is going to have a negative effect on healthcare, education and other services? Did he explain that he has no problem pushing the debt up even higher to pay for all his promises even though it will drive our children out of the province to seek greener pastures? My guess is he left those parts out. How convenient... Bottom line is that no matter who gets in, programs are going to get cut. Healthcare, education, social services... you name it. Two billion dollars added to an already bloated debt. The payments have to come from somewhere. Taxes will increase and user fees will be added to more things. The debt isn't going to pay for itself. I love how he hasn't talked about that yet, hm?