Nova Scotia health-care system under Liberals ‘complete failure’: Tory leader

Click to play video: 'N.S. seeing rise in temporary emergency departments closures'
N.S. seeing rise in temporary emergency departments closures
The list for those in need of a family doctor in Nova Scotia continues to grow and as of July the list sat at just over 69 thousand people. As the province deals with doctor shortages it is also seeing a rise in temporary closures at emergency departments in rural communities. Alicia Draus reports. – Aug 10, 2021

Nova Scotia’s Tory leader stuck to the main theme of his election campaign Thursday, condemning the province’s health-care system after a Halifax-area man in his 80s waited three hours with a broken hip for an ambulance.

“Nova Scotia has been in a health-care crisis for too long and today I am here to tell you … we are nearing, if not already past, the point of disaster,” Tim Houston told reporters Thursday, a few days ahead of the Aug. 17 election.

“There isn’t a single problem to fix but a chain of failures.”

Years of inaction from Liberal governments led to 86-year-old Ross O’Brien being left on his driveway in Dartmouth, N.S., earlier this week with a broken hip while he waited for emergency services, the Progressive Conservative leader said.

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Health-care has been the Tories’ core issue during the election campaign. Houston has repeatedly attacked the Liberals, who have been in power since 2013, for the shortage of doctors, nurses and long-term care beds across the province.

The Tories’ plan for health care involves $430 million in new spending in the sector during the first year of their mandate.

The Liberal party did not respond to a request for comment Thursday regarding O’Brien’s three-hour ambulance wait.

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They are promising about $455 million in new spending over four years, including about $127 million for health care. Liberal Leader Iain Rankin has repeatedly said the Tories’ plan dedicates too much money to health care at a time when the economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rankin spent Thursday campaigning in and around the Halifax Regional Municipality.

A re-elected Liberal government, he said, would grant $300,000 for affordable housing to a community group in the historically African Nova Scotian area of Upper Hammonds Plains. Upper Hammonds Plains was settled in 1815 by about 500 Black people after the War of 1812. The funding, Rankin said, would help the group create a community land trust to organize the housing project.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2021.

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