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Potential for N.S. health-care privatization ‘a slippery slope,’ advocacy group says – Halifax


A Nova Scotia health-care advocacy group says the provincial authorities mustn’t contemplate private choices as a method to alleviate surgical backlogs, emergency room wait occasions and labour shortages which are presently plaguing the province.

“It’s positively a slippery slope into our public system,” stated Alexandra Rose, co-ordinator of the Nova Scotia Well being Coalition.

“Non-public surgical procedure clinics, these workers don’t come out of nowhere. They’re leaving the general public system to go personal, which solely makes the staffing disaster that we’re going through in Nova Scotia a lot worse.”

This comes after Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston stated his authorities is contemplating personal health-care choices that might be built-in throughout the public system.

Learn extra: Private health options in Nova Scotia would strengthen public system: premier

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“The principle objective needs to be getting folks entry to the care that they want, and we’ll mobilize each ounce of useful resource that we are able to muster to get folks the care that they want,” Premier Tim Houston advised reporters after a cupboard assembly Wednesday.

“There received’t be a time beneath my tenure as premier the place Nova Scotians want to make use of something besides their MSI card to pay for his or her well being care.”

However Rose worries that received’t be the case, as there’s potential further personal clinics would broaden if others are discovering success.

“If a bunch of different folks see and so they suppose that it really works, that’s nonetheless simply extra personal clinics opening up, leading to extra folks leaving the general public system, whether or not it’s medical doctors, nurses – any health-care workers,” she stated.

Click to play video: 'N.B. premier speaks about expansion of private health-care service' N.B. premier speaks about growth of personal health-care service
N.B. premier speaks about growth of personal health-care service

Rose additionally highlights how the public-private mannequin hasn’t labored previously, similar to in Ontario when the province’s auditor common discovered hospitals paid larger than affordable charges to personal contractors.

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“There isn’t any short-term personal answer to our public system,” she stated.

Houston famous that the province has been utilizing Scotia Surgical procedure Inc. — a personal clinic within the Halifax space — since 2008 to carry out elective day surgical procedures.

“It’s all the time been there to offer care to Nova Scotians in the identical order,” he stated. “There’s no favoritism as to who will get to go there and other people have went there and received surgical procedures and used their MSI card to pay for that.”

Learn extra: Ontario, Maritimes premiers meet to talk health care but offer no details, solutions

However the Opposition say privatization of the health-care system will create a number of long-term considerations.

“I feel you’re creating a really huge threat,” stated Liberal Chief Zach Churchill. “We’ve received a labour scarcity in well being care proper now; you create a parallel personal health-care system, I feel that may siphon folks out of the general public health-care system.”

“Clearly after we can’t entry well being care, when our family members can’t entry well being care, we’re going to do no matter we are able to,” stated Nova Scotia NDP Chief Claudia Chender. “For a few of us, that might be utilizing our bank card. For others, that’s not doable.”

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