03 Apr April 3/12 – Media Release: Network Watching Budget Closely
Tuesday, 03 April 2012
For Immediate Release
April 3, 2012
Health Network Watching Provincial Budget Closely
Halifax, NS – The Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network will be looking for decisive actions to protect, strengthen and extend public health care in today’s provincial budget. The record of the provincial NDP government is mixed on public health care. On one hand they have made strategic investments in collaborative care centres, health teams, and nurse practitioners. On the other hand they have cut funding to hospitals and mental health services.
“Today the Health Network is looking for action on five key areas, many of which were highlighted in the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives 2012 Nova Scotia Alternative Budget,” says Kyle Buott, Provincial Coordinator for the Health Network.
1. No cuts to public health care. Any cost savings found through eliminating programs or waste should be reinvested to address Nova Scotians health needs.
2. Immediately invest $30 million in opening ten new community health centres and $10 million in existing community health centres. This will improve primary health care and access to local physicians and health teams. Also provide $500,000 to the Federation of Community Health Centres to share best practises.
3. Provide access to dental care for 65,000 kids without dental insurance by investing $3.3 million in the Children’s Oral Health Program and create an Chief Dental Officer at a cost of $300,000.
4. Merge all provincial pharmacare plans. This will be cost-neutral, will simplify the process and likely result in administration savings.
5. Hire 10 new nurse practitioners and 12 new midwives around Nova Scotia at a cost of $2.6 million.
The total cost of the Health Network’s five policy items is $46.9 million, or 1.3% of the total health budget.
The Health Network will have representatives in the provincial budget lock-up and Coordinator Kyle Buott will be available for comment at Province House when the budget address begins.
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For more information please contact:
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network
Cell – (902) 478-0239
About the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network:
Formed in 1996, the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network’s goal is to stop the privatization of the public health care system, ensure high levels of care, and create a forum for people and communities to discuss issues in health care.
The Network is a coalition of local health committees, community groups, organized labour, faith groups and individuals dedicated to protecting and advancing public health care to include services like pharmacare, dental care and long-term and home care.
The Network is political but non-partisan and receives no government funding.