January 11th, 2023

Inquiry into ER Deaths Required

HALIFAX – People are increasingly worried about the state of emergency care in Nova Scotia following Allison Holthoff’s death at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre on New Year’s Eve.

According to new data obtained through an NDP Freedom of Information request, the number of deaths in Emergency Departments (EDs) across the province is not improving and has steadily increased in the last two years. There were 558 emergency department deaths last year, the highest annual total in the last six years.

“People want to know what’s going on with health care in Nova Scotia. There is very real concern from families across the province about the state of emergency care,” said Susan Leblanc, NDP Health and Wellness spokesperson. “This is a very serious situation. The Houston government needs to be upfront with people and launch an inquiry into the increasing number of ER deaths. Things have to get better for all Nova Scotians, now.”

The state of emergency care in Nova Scotia is deteriorating. While health care workers are doing their best, the system is under significant stress with over 43,000 people leaving the ER without being seen by a doctor last year.

“We are hearing from worried parents, seniors, and community members who want to know what the government is doing to reverse this awful trend, and are upset at the worsening state of health care,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “An inquiry into emergency room deaths would help Nova Scotians understand what’s going on in our hospitals and what needs to be done to ensure no other family faces the same tragic situation as the Holthoff’s.”

Nova Scotia Health reports that over the last six years, 2,950 people died in emergency departments in Nova Scotia.