February 4th, 2021

Blood collection capacity down 17% during pandemic

HALIFAX - Blood collection capacity was down 17 per cent during the pandemic, according to new documents received by the NDP Caucus under Freedom of Information. Many people have complained that they are unable to access blood collection services in a timely manner for important health needs.

“For months, people have been calling MLA offices like mine with serious concerns over long waits for blood work. With blood collection down significantly in all four health zones, this is clearly a widespread problem,” said Susan Leblanc, NDP Health and Wellness Spokesperson. “The Liberal government has had almost a year since the start of the pandemic to make sure that Nova Scotians have access to this vital service. Continuing to ignore this problem could lead to serious issues with chronic and acute health care.”

During an average week late last year, 3,943 fewer blood collection appointments occurred each day across Nova Scotia compared to the pre-pandemic period.

“With almost 4000 fewer appointments each day, there is dangerous bottlenecking, and some people are forced to drive to other communities to get their urgent blood work done,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “There is a real risk that this drastic reduction in blood collection capacity could lead to undiagnosed conditions, or insufficient management of chronic health concerns.”

Blood collection is essential for the diagnosing, monitoring, and management of a host of conditions, from cancers to kidney diseases, heart disease and diabetes.