Spending grows in other departments while NDP cut frontline health services
SYDNEY, NS – Progressive Conservative Cape Breton Regional Municipality MLAs say Premier Dexter is dangerously wrong on healthcare cuts.
“A one-time cut of that size will impact patients and the delivery of services and everyone knows it except the NDP,” said Cape Breton West MLA Alfie MacLeod.
MacLeod and the other CBRM PC MLAs point to statements in the media by four district health authority CEO’s across the province who have rebutted the NDP’s spin that the cuts won’t affect patient services.
The Cape Breton District Health Authority is facing a $7.2 million budget cut.
“Before cutting front-line services that Cape Bretoners depend on, like health care, the NDP should first show some progress with reducing spending elsewhere in government,” said Victoria-The Lakes MLA Keith Bain. “They promised reductions in all departments but that still hasn’t happened.”
Bain pointed to a department led by Cape Breton cabinet minister Frank Corbett, the Public Service Commission, that is budgeted to increase by almost eight per cent this year.
“Dexter has his priorities wrong, it’s as simple as that,” said Cape Breton North MLA Eddie Orrell. “The NDP complain out loud about rising costs in healthcare but are silent about other departments. What priorities are they addressing? Nova Scotians deserve better accountability with their money.”
Public Service Commission, Public Accounts Data – available on line on the Department of Finance’s website.
2007-08 = $132,770,000
2008-09 = $157,602,000
2009-10 = $184,026,000 (first NDP budget)
2010-11 = $165,905,000 (moved 36 personnel to Finance Department)
2011-12 = $178,938,000 (NDP budget estimate)
Hospital leaders say:
"No question it is significant and it will have a local impact," Colchester East Hants Health Authority CEO Peter MacKinnon said, of the NDP government's target to reduce spending next year by all the province's health authorities by three per cent.
(Truro Daily News)
But the Chief Financial Officer for the Capital District Health Authority said it would be impossible to promise there would be no impact on patients if her health board, the province's largest, were to implement the cut.
"We can never promise absolute lack of disruption to our patients, to our staff, services and so on," Amanda Whitewood said. "We'll see how we make out." Whitewood said the reduction would mean $21 million less for Capital District Health.
Allan Horsburgh, Chief Financial Officer at the IWK Health Centre, said cutting $46 million will affect patient care.
"This amount of money is going impact care and it's going to have to change care. We will not be able to find $46-million through pure efficiencies," he said. "It will mean potentially some services will be waitlisted longer or disbanded. We'll have to focus on urgent and emergent things first, obviously. But, yes, wait lists could increase and some services could be ratcheted down a little bit."
“We do expect that there will be an impact on people and services, but at this point we don’t know. We will be working collaboratively across the system and engaging stakeholders, moreso than we’ve ever done in the past in order to achieve the target and again, minimize the impact on patient care,” Pictou County Health Authority CEO Pat Lee.