Super Boards centralize services at expense of fair access for rural populations

As the NSGEU questioned Nova Scotia Liberals last week about why they were polling about taking away the right-to-strike, they also divulged that the polling included a question about one Super Board for health.

Research by the Conference Board of Canada last week gave Nova Scotia top marks for our health system, with A grades in categories including overall performance and the number of family doctors and specialists.

Why would the Liberals decide now is the time to dismantle the district health authorities in favour of one super board? As they lay out their platform, they claim this to be one of their pegs.

Tearing apart a system that’s working is only going to set us back again, to the last time the health care system was in disarray – under the Liberals in the 1990’s. The Liberals paid nurses to leave the province, tried to take away the right-to-strike from healthcare workers, and caused chaos.

Stephen-McNeil-LiberalWhy would anyone in rural Nova Scotia want to be governed by one health Super Board run out of Halifax? Cutting out our local boards, cutting back on the front-line staff, or cutting the right-to-strike are all destructive.

These past four years, the province’s health care unions, including the NSGEU and the Nova Scotia Nurses Union, were instrumental in assisting in the most important advancements in our health care system.

  • The unions have helped to make Nova Scotia’s new model of emergency care, Collaborative Emergency Centres, a success that other provinces are copying.
  • They supported Nova Scotia’s first mental health strategy – a real milestone for Nova Scotia delivering tangible differences.
  • And health care unions have long fought for a reversal of the Liberal cuts to dental care coverage for children – a victory they have won with this year’s budget.

The province’s dedicated health care professionals are only looking out for a strong and sustainable universal health care system. Super Boards tend to centralize diagnostic and specialist services at the expense of fair access for rural populations. Political parties would be wise not to shake what only needs to be stirred.