December 19th, 2019

ER Closures through the roof under McNeil Liberals

HALIFAX - Emergency room closures have increased dramatically under the McNeil Liberal government. New information posted today shows that total emergency room closures went up by 60 per cent last year, while unscheduled closures were up 108 per cent. ER closures have increased every year the Liberals have been in power.

“Year after year, Stephen McNeil sits by and does little to nothing while emergency rooms across the province are either closed or overcrowded,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “We can do better than that, and we did do better. Under the NDP government, emergency room closures went down every year. That’s what possible when you have a government that actually invests in the health care services people need.”

When the Liberals took office in 2013, there were eight Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs) that had been opened, which helped reduce ER closures. Instead of using this model, which was developed in Nova Scotia and is now used in other jurisdictions, the Liberals cancelled planned expansions of CECs in Cape Breton and Lunenburg County.

“Stephen McNeil has never admitted we’re in a health care crisis. These numbers show we have a very serious problem in our emergency rooms yet the Liberals continue to pretend everything is fine,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “When temporary closures are up by 108 per cent how can people feel confident that they’ll have access to care?”

The NDP has been focused on proposing solutions to the health care crisis, including opening new CECs, building new long-term care beds, allowing physician assistants to practise in hospitals to reduce congestion, and creating same-day/next-day mental health services to take the pressure off emergency rooms.