October 13th, 2022

Families struggle to afford prescriptions as Houston dismisses thousands looking for care

HALIFAX – Over one hundred thousand people don’t have a family doctor and struggle to get the care they need. Health care workers are burning out at record rates, working understaffed in hospitals that are old and worn out.

“We hear from Nova Scotians every day about the struggles they’re facing in getting the health care they need. That the Premier seems to not believe that this is the case is especially concerning,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “One straightforward thing Mr. Houston could do today is waive pharmacare fees in the face of the ongoing cost of living crisis. In the summer the Premier said he would look into it. I hope he’ll take action on this immediately.”

Allan Smith and his wife live in Amherst and spend over $2500 on medication before their seniors’ and family pharmacare kick in. Smith’s wife is on family pharmacare as she is not yet 65 while he is covered by the seniors program.

“The cost of our medications are hundreds of dollars a month because of the premiums and even once we’ve reached the benchmark, our co-pays are expensive as well,” said Smith. “With the rising cost of food, gas, and power, getting a break on pharmacare fees would make a big difference to our monthly bills and improve things for lots of other seniors I know are in the same situation.”

Earlier this year a Feed Nova Scotia survey found that 50 percent of respondents didn’t fill or collect a prescription or skipped taking medication in the last 12 months because of the cost.