A Lack of Attention and Planning is Now Resulting in a Crisis
The relentless increase in the number of Islanders on the patient registry should be setting off alarm bells in government, says Liberal Health Critic Rob Henderson.
“But instead of rapid action, we are hearing very little from the Premier and Minister of Health. In fact, their last real statement of substance was to tell Islanders that it may be impossible for everyone to have direct access to a family doctor.”
This week, the patient registry grew to more than 18,000 Islanders without access to a family physician. Additionally, there are a further 3,500 Islanders who were abandoned as the result of a physician’s long-planned retirement.
“Earlier this year, the Minister of Health repeatedly claimed that he had a plan for retention and recruitment of health professionals. As we now know, this claim was empty – and served only as a political excuse to avoid accountability to Islanders.”
Of course, the Minister will claim that Covid-19 impeded proper planning to avoid the growing crisis in day-to-day health care needs. However, it is faintly ridiculous to insist that policy development, recruitment and appropriate decision-making were put on hold because of Covid.
“Frontline workers faced challenges, and they stepped up. But the King Government seemed to forget that our province’s health care needs did not begin and end with Covid. And as a result, the lack of attention and planning is now resulting in a crisis that may take years to repair.”