NDP

NDP concerned about decision to stop delivering babies in Glace Bay

September 21, 2016


For immediate release.

HALIFAX – The NDP is concerned about ongoing issues with access to health care in communities across the province. This week the Nova Scotia Health Authority announced a decision to stop providing labour and delivery service at the Glace Bay hospital. After this month, women will have to travel to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney to deliver their babies.

“If Minister Glavine thinks this is an appropriate model of care, then he does not understand the health needs of women and infants, and he certainly does not understand the geography of Cape Breton,” said NDP health critic Dave Wilson.

The town of Glace Bay is already experiencing a doctor shortage—the NSHA is currently trying to recruit three family doctors to the area. Staff from the obstetrics unit will either transfer to Sydney or be relocated to a different unit.

“Taking services out of a community is not the answer,” said Wilson. “We know already that the McNeil government’s health care strategy is to make people travel long distances for services, on their own dime. In a region with a high level of poverty, this is simply unacceptable.”

One solution to this problem would be expanding access to midwifery services in a collaborative care model.  Last spring, the Liberal government refused to answer NDP questions about its plan to expand midwifery services.

“We know that the need for midwifery services in Nova Scotia far exceeds the current capacity,” said NDP Status of Women critic Lenore Zann. “Especially with this doctor shortage crisis, we need a robust midwifery system more than ever. When will the Health Minister decide to act in the best interest of women and infants?”

-30-

For more information, contact Kaley Kennedy at 902-229-6881.