By Scott Costen
The health minister visited Liverpool today. Unfortunately, it was the wrong one.
Federal health boss Ginette Petitpas Taylor, along with local MP Bernadette Jordan, was here to meet with seniors at Queens Place Emera Centre and check out the new Water Street home of the Queens Family Resource Centre. (You can read my LighthouseNow Progress Bulletin story about the ministerial visit here.)
While it was nice to see Petitpas Taylor, she’s not the health minister we need answers from. The federal government, whatever its other failings, has not let us down on health care. It has increased transfers to the provinces and territories by billions, including $287.8 million specifically earmarked for home care and mental health support in Nova Scotia over a 10-year period.
The health minister who needs to pay us a visit is Randy Delorey, the two-term Antigonish MLA who also serves as Nova Scotia’s Gaelic affairs minister. He’s the guy steering us blindly through a deepening health care crisis, short-changing Queens at nearly every stop.
As Milton councillor Jack Fancy pointed out at this morning’s discussion with the federal minister, the resources at Queens General Hospital are being stretched thin by people coming from Shelburne (ER closures) and the Bridgewater area (long ER wait times).
As former mayor Christopher Clarke lamented, Queens Manor is in desperate need of additional funding.
And as Liverpool resident Leon Robertson said, Queens lacks an assisted living facility that would prevent people from having to move away — or suffer in silence — at the most vulnerable point in their lives.
Premier Stephen McNeil would have us believe everything is hunky-dory when it comes to health care in Nova Scotia. (Or would that be hunky-Delorey?).
Patients know otherwise, Mr. McNeil. So please send your health minister to Queens to learn what’s really going on, what really needs to be done and the steep human cost of his continued negligence.