12 Mar Media Release: Private Care Comes to Nova Scotia

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Private care comes to Nova Scotia

Halifax, NS – The Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network is condemning a government move to outsource over 500 orthopedic surgeries to a private, for-profit clinic called Scotia Surgery.

The minister was very frank today and when asked by a journalist if people could say this was the day private health care came to Nova Scotia, the minister responded in the affirmative.

“Outsourcing surgeries to private, for-profit clinics is not a solution to health care wait times,” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Health Network.  “The minister should instead bring Scotia Surgery into the public system and create a state of the art, publicly-funded and operated surgical centre in Nova Scotia.”

Scotia Surgery has and will continue to drain staff from the public system.  Although Capital Health surgeons will be performing all of the services, the support staff will be employees of Scotia Surgery.

“Scotia Surgery has already taken nurses from the public system,” says Buott.  “Giving the private clinic access to this kind of money will allow them to continue to take staff from the public system, leading to shortages and longer waits.”

The services are going to be covered by MSI, but many questions remain.

“How long will it take for Scotia Surgery to decide it wants to do publicly insured services at a fee?” asks Buott.  “The Minister of Health has opened the floodgate, and coupled with the Premier’s comments on privatization in December and the push for new P3s, Nova Scotia public health care system is under a major threat.”

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For more information please contact:

Kyle Buott
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.