NDP insists Nova Scotia government moving too slow in addressing long-term care situation
A Freedom of Information request made by the Nova Scotia NDP has shown that the province received a recommendation to appoint an expert panel on long-term care at the beginning of 2017, some 18 months ahead of striking such a committee.
Gary Burrill, the provincial NDP leader, calls the lengthy wait between the initial suggestion and the creation of the panel part of a “leadership-less pattern of foot-dragging” at a time when the province can’t afford to procrastinate.
“Had that advice been followed from what is now two years ago, we would be in a much stronger position for dealing with the urgent situation,” Burrill said.
Burrill has accused Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government of failing to properly address the long-term care situation, as Nova Scotia has experienced a backlog of patients awaiting nursing home beds and a complete stall on creating new spaces during his time in office.
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“During the single greatest tsunami of aging in our history, the government has not opened a single new nursing home facility anywhere in the province,” Burrill said. “We’ve got a failure to move forward and we’ve got, in fact, a pretty serious step that they’ve gone backwards.”
When questioned about the period of time that elapsed between an expert panel being recommended and when it was appointed, the Department of Health said in a statement:
“Engagements with stakeholders and experts is part of regular operations when government is considering changes to policy or strategic direction. The long-term care panel established by the minister in the fall is just one example of this type of engagement to provide input.”
The expert advisory panel will release its recommendations to improve long-term care in the province at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
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