HALIFAX, NS – Victoria-The Lakes MLA Keith Bain says that the doctor shortages in the Cape Breton District Health Authority are leading to surgery wait times twice as long as the rest of Nova Scotia.
"Due to a lack of government support for our health authority, our surgeons are leaving Cape Breton for better opportunities elsewhere and it is putting Cape Bretoners at risk," said Bain. "The wait times to receive general surgery continue to grow and the Minister of Health continues to say a physician recruitment plan is in the works. We need action from this Minister, not just more talk of plans and strategies."
One departing surgeon admitted he was leaving Cape Breton for a position in New Brunswick because of frustration with health care in Nova Scotia.
"Surgeons in Cape Breton have written letters detailing concerns about how health care is delivered in Cape Breton but it appears the Minister has done nothing to address them," said Bain. "How many more doctors and surgeons will we have to lose before this NDP government takes action to protect the health of Cape Bretoners?"
Progressive Conservative Health Critic Chris d’Entremont questioned the Minister Maureen MacDonald in the legislature today, calling for her to tell the House what she is doing to recruit and retain surgeons in Cape Breton.
"The last three years have seen the departure of three surgeons in Cape Breton – the gruelling on-call schedule and 24-hour shifts have taken a toll and they have moved on," said d’Entremont. "How long will you let this situation continue and what will you do to reduce wait times for surgery within the Cape Breton District Health Authority?"