25 Feb Health Minister Overlooks Barriers to Healthy Lifestyle – Press Conference


The NS Health Minister, Leo Glavine, recently published an article suggesting that our public health system could function like banks; as banks require a financial check before giving loans, patients should have to prove that they lead a healthy lifestyle before receiving health care.

The Health Minister’s comments rids the government of responsibility for providing programs and services, and shames the poor. Join us on Thursday to demand a health care system that addresses inequality and provides equal care to all.

Join the NS Health Network at a press conference:

Thursday, February 27

9am at the JBO Centre, 2103 Gottingen Street,
Health workers, social workers, patients, and community members speak out!
*Speakers list TBA*

Glavine argues that people who do not eat well or exercise are abusing the health system and robbing it of much needed funding. He writes that health is ultimately an individual responsibility. While the Minister writes that we should not actually follow banking model, he defended his comments yesterday and said that he hopes to see those ideas become part of the focus of the department.

The Minister’s comments are not only misguided and offensive, but a sign of ignorance. He shows that he has no understanding of the social determinants of health – the social factors that impact our health, behaviours and ability to receive care. Differences in income, housing, and education – among others – all influence’s people’s health.

Exercising and eating well are important, but the fact is that many people face huge barriers to doing that. It’s hard to find the time to cook if you’re working multiple part-time jobs. It’s difficult to buy nutritious food if you’re a single parent living below the poverty line.

If we really want people to lead healthier lives we first need to remove the barriers. Our public health care system is there to help address inequality in our society by providing equal access to care for all – not to shame the sick.
Join us on Thursday to demand just that!

James Hutt
Provincial Coordinator
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network