November 25th, 2021

Freedom of Information Request shows Conservatives have a long way to go to reach promise of 24/7 ORs

Halifax - A Freedom of Information Request obtained by the NDP Caucus shows that, on average, Operating Rooms (ORs) in Nova Scotia are running for 3.9 hours per day. In the provincial election the Conservatives said they would move toward a 24/7 model for ORs.

“The evidence makes it very clear that we are a long way away from having operating rooms run 24/7,” said Susan Leblanc, NDP Health and Wellness spokesperson. “We are three months into this new Conservative government and they have yet to show us how they plan to achieve a 24/7 schedule in the operating rooms of our hospitals, if it is even possible.”

ORs at Valley Regional Hospital (9.0 hours/day), the Cape Breton Regional Hospital (8.6 hours/day), and the Halifax Infirmary (7.8 hours/day) are currently used the most, though each of these hospitals also have additional ORs that are used much less. These high-functioning ORs are operating at one third of the Conservatives election promise. Nova Scotia has more than 80 ORs.

The Conservatives have also promised to meet surgery wait time benchmarks within 18 months of being elected.

“Where is the plan to get the additional staff in place to run the ORs at more that three times their current level of operation?” said Leblanc. “I suspect there is no plan to actually do this, and the Conservatives are quickly finding that their election promises were pie-in-the-sky and not based on reality. The thousands of Nova Scotians waiting for surgery need real solutions.”

The NDP has been pushing for practical solutions to the healthcare crisis, including opening collaborative emergency centres, allowing physicians assistants to practice in Nova Scotia, and reducing pressure on our hospitals by moving patients out of hospital beds and into proper long-term care.