14 Aug Media Release: Province abdicating responsibility for health human resources

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Province abdicating responsibility for health human resources

Halifax, NS – Giving away $30 million to private, for-profit companies to provide health care staffing in the Capital Health District shows the provincial government’s abdication of its responsibility to ensure the province has adequate health human resources, says the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network.

“By outsourcing $30 million of staffing time to private, for-profit companies, the province is essentially saying that they do not have a solution to the shortages of health care workers in this province,” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Health Network.  “Repeatedly, we have urged the provincial government to call for a stakeholders’ meeting to develop a health human resources strategy.”

While using private companies to fill staffing shortages is not new, it has not been done on this level.

“$30 million would go a long way to hiring more full time staff who would be able to address these shortages and reduce the amounts of overtime current staff take on,” says Buott.  “We also have concerns about the quality of care, especially if workers with lower levels of training are assigned roles that are currently filled by more experienced workers.”

This is the latest step in the provincial government’s health care privatization agenda.  In March they announced they would rent space and staff from a private, for-profit surgical clinic instead of building and expanding existing public facilities.

“Rather than taking decisive, forward-looking action to respond to a crisis, the province is throwing its hands up in the air and privatizing some elements of staffing,” says Buott.  “The province is abdicating its responsibility to provide a quality public health care system.”


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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.