October 18th, 2022

Houston offers no solutions as seniors forced to pick between food and medicine

HALIFAX – Under the Houston government life is getting harder for seniors and families who can’t afford to fill their prescriptions because the cost of living keeps going up and people are falling further behind. Earlier this year Feed Nova Scotia found that 50 percent of people surveyed were not taking their medications as prescribed due to the cost.

“When people are living on a pension or fixed income the extreme increases in the cost of food, gas, and other essentials makes it very difficult to keep up,” said Gary MacLeod, Chairperson of the ACE Team (Advocates for Care of the Elderly). “Medication is an essential part of the healthcare system, not a luxury for those who can afford it. Seniors need to be supported so they don’t have to chose between prescriptions and food because of the lack of ability to afford the medicine they need. The government has the ability to address this issue and the NDP are offering a positive way forward.”

People need help today, and while other provinces continue to roll out direct support, the Houston government is choosing to offer nothing to help with the cost of prescription medicine.

“People are being forced to choose between buying food or taking their prescriptions,” said Claudia Chender, Leader of the Nova Scotia New Democrats. “There is a simple way to get people the help they need right away. The Premier has the ability to pause premiums on seniors’ pharmacare and deductibles for family pharmacare. In a moment of such economic uncertainty, forcing people to go without the medicines they need is not right. The Premier can and should fix this today.”

Chender will table legislation today to pause pharmacare premiums and deductibles while people are struggling with the cost of living crisis.