November 23rd, 2022

ER understaffing must be addressed, Nova Scotians need better health care

HALIFAX– Families and seniors are forced to wait hours for care at emergency rooms across the province, and health care workers continue to do their best while dealing with significant staffing shortages. The Houston government must address the very serious issues in ERs across Nova Scotia.

“We’ve heard from many, many people who are worried about a loved one that’s had to wait hours to be seen in an ER, or hours for an ambulance,” said NDP Health and Wellness spokesperson Susan Leblanc. “And we know that health care workers are going above and beyond but they can’t do it alone. There needs to be real action from the Houston government to improve the state of emergency departments in Nova Scotia.”

Recent reports show there are over 1600 nursing vacancies in the province, and 165 doctor vacancies. Last year, 43,000 people left ERs without being seen, up 60 per cent from the year before. People like Donna McInnis and Jennifer Lee-Parsons, have recently waited hours for an ambulance for their injured family members.

“When Tim Houston was elected he said he knew how to fix things but there is so much about our health care system that has gotten worse in the last year, not better,” said Leblanc. “People want strong, public health care when and where they need it. Government is about making choices and the Premier needs to choose to put public dollars where they’re most needed and improve things in emergency rooms across the province.”

The Public Accounts Committee will review the issue of ER understaffing today.