February 5th, 2021

Blood collection capacity down almost 800 tests per day in Western Zone

Bridgewater - Access to blood collection services has declined during the pandemic in the Annapolis Valley, South Shore and South West regions, according to a Freedom of Information request received by the NDP Caucus. Nearly 800 fewer blood tests have been conducted each day as compared to the pre-pandemic period.

“Many people are finding it difficult to get timely appointments for blood work,” 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.”

The number of blood tests per day was down by about 17 per cent in the Western Zone, in line with the province-wide numbers. Individual collection sites include reductions of 57 per cent at Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville and a 51 per cent reduction at Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg. Some sites did see small increases in collection as well.

“Hundreds of people are being forced to wait longer to get blood work done, which can lead to all sorts of medical problems,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “Prior to the pandemic, our health care system was already in crisis. As we look to recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, we are facing the potential of new crises caused by the Liberal government’s neglect of core services such as blood collection.”

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