28 Jan New Healthcare Committee
From one corner of the province to another, Nova Scotians agree that healthcare should be at the forefront of the Government’s agenda. We agree.
That’s why our Government has established the all-party standing committee on healthcare, the first new committee to be created in decades.
With healthcare accounting for $4.5 billion of the provincial budget – 46% of total expenditures exclude debt servicing costs – it’s critical that MLAs have a dedicated space to focus on healthcare and healthcare service delivery.
MLAs of all stripes will be doing important work on this new committee and it was clear from our first meeting on January 15 that each committee member is dedicated to enhancing healthcare for all Nova Scotians. We must all recognize our citizens’ healthcare needs always, firmly, come before Party politics.
In recognition of the importance that Nova Scotians and the government place on healthcare, the committee was created as a stand-alone committee for considering matters related to accessing and delivering healthcare services. It will be a necessary forum to talk about the issues that are important to Nova Scotians, in a way that is transparent and accessible. So, whether you’re in the gallery at Province House or watching from home, every Nova Scotian can engage with the proceedings of the committee.
We know the complex challenges in healthcare aren’t resolved with the creation of a committee. But we also know the importance of having public conversations with experts and generating ideas on these critical issues. This committee will undertake important work that will be presented to our Government, as the healthcare issues Nova Scotians face are explored in a manner far more reaching than ever before.
There are multiple redevelopment, new construction, and expansion projects underway or completed across Nova Scotia, including the $2 billion QEII Redevelopment Project, the Cape Breton redevelopment and expansion, additions to the Dartmouth General Hospital, expansion of the IWK Health Centre, and a new surgical wing in the Hants Community Hospital, just to name a few. These are all fundamental investments to enhance the quality of health care Nova Scotians receive, and will be among the important discussions for the committee to have.
Let’s be clear, there is plenty of work to do to address the healthcare challenges in Nova Scotia and no one is suggesting that a healthcare committee will be the silver bullet that magically solves every issue. But this is a positive step taken by your Liberal government.