05 Apr April 5/2011 – Media Release: Patient Care Will Suffer
Tuesday, 05 April 2011
For Immediate Release
April 5, 2011
Patient Care Will Suffer with New Provincial Budget
Halifax, NS – With a freeze on hospital spending, patient care will suffer says the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network.
“It is very simple. Many of our hospitals are overworked and underfunded as it is, freezing the budget for hospitals just doesn’t make sense,” says Kyle Buott, Provincial Coordinator of the Health Network. “Patients will feel the squeeze. Period.”
There are some bright points in the provincial budget including new funding for emergency care, nurse practitioners and pre-hab programs, but they pale in comparison to a funding freeze.
The Health Network was looking for three key things in the provincial budget, all of which are costed and outlined in the Nova Scotia Alternative Provincial Budget released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
1. Investing in primary care
a. $30 million to open 10 new Community Health Centres across Nova Scotia
b. $10 million to supporting existing Community Health Centres like the North End Community Health Centre in Halifax
2. Expand access to prescription drugs
a. Budget neutral – Reinvest between $40-$60 million in savings from the Fair Drug Prices Review to expand drug coverage to more than 70,000 Nova Scotians
3. Dental care for kids
a. $3.3 million to increase the age limit on the Child’s Oral Health Program from age 10 to age 16, expanding basic dental care to another 65,000 kids
Buott concluded: “With a $500 million surplus achieved last year, there is no need for a budget freeze in health care and other important priorities can be addressed.”
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For more information please contact:
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network
Work – (902) 406-9422
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.