February 5th, 2021

Blood collection capacity down by 24% in Cape Breton

SYDNEY - Blood collection capacity in Cape Breton is, on average, down by 24 per cent compared to pre-pandemic numbers according to a Freedom of Information request received by the NDP Caucus. This is more dramatic than any other health zone. The provincial average is down just 17 per cent.

“People have been calling my office regularly with complaints that they are unable to access blood work in a timely manner,” said Kendra Coombes, MLA for Cape Breton Centre. “It’s not right that Cape Bretoners are waiting even longer than the rest of the province.”

There are, on average, 1061 fewer blood tests per day in Cape Breton than before the pandemic. This means there are thousands of people waiting longer for test results. Capacity at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital was down even more, with a decrease of 29 per cent.

“Cape Breton deserves answers from the Liberal government on how they plan to ensure people have access to blood collection going forward,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “Hospitals in Cape Breton are already facing higher mortality rates than on the mainland. If this significant reduction in blood collection capacity continues, people living in Cape Breton will see even more drastic health disparities.”

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