CARP Nova Scotia Calls on Party Leaders to Create Non-Partisan Strategy to Promote their Right to Timely, Essential Health Care

Nova Scotia flag

“Our hope in raising this solution is based on the belief that all political parties in Nova Scotia would agree that timely essential health care should be viewed as a Canadian right and freedom under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” wrote Ian MacDonald.

Halifax, NS, May 11, 2017  CARP Volunteer Chair Ian MacDonald exhorted all three major party leaders and candidates in his letter on Wait Times and CARP N.S.’s Priorities for the 2017 Election. CARP N.S. believes a new non-partisan model should and could solve the over 8 years of crisis of Nova Scotians having to endure the worst wait times in Canada. (letter attached)

“Therefore, if you and your party can say “Yes, we believe timely essential health care is a right of every Nova Scotian.” Your party along with your opponents will give Nova Scotians the confidence that whether in power or in opposition that you will come together in good faith to create a non-partisan strategy. A strategy that can be implemented to move all essential orthopedic surgeries’ wait times to less than 1 year including the creation of an on-going system following 2019 that meets the national benchmark every year,” wrote Ian MacDonald. Ian MacDonald and Bill VanGorden_CARP NS

Such a bold coming together of leadership to finally solve this almost decade long crisis by 2019 with an operational goal of getting the wait lists down to the national bench mark of 90% of essential orthopedic surgeries for hip and knee replacements completed within 182 days by the end of 2019 with a sustainable system to stay at the bench mark from 2020 on.

It is CARP’s hope that non-partisan support in solving this crisis would also support the evidence based goals of the Shift Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population which reflects many of CARP N.S.’s priorities. (Photo: Ian MacDonald and Bill VanGorder, CARP NS).

CARP encourages all the parties to commit to implement the plan goals through Mandate Letters.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada’ promoting social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from age-discrimination. Our mandate is to promote and protect the interests, rights and quality of life for Canadians as we age.   Currently, we have eight thousand members in the province of Nova Scoatia age forty-five years and over.

Read CARP Nova Scotia’s Letter to the Political Parties, May 10, 2017.

Dear Leaders and Candidates,

On behalf of the CARP Nova Scotia chapter I am taking the opportunity to reach out to you and your political opponents to come together to address a healthcare crises that has for the past 8 going on 9 years drastically impacted all Nova Scotians and seniors. That crisis is the wait time for essential orthopedic surgery especially hip and knee replacements.
During those years successive governments, of all three political parties have failed to fix this crisis. Separately, the parties have failed in remedying this issue. Therefore, the time has come for all parties to come together in a non-partisan way to rectify the problem.

It is CARP Nova Scotia’s belief that if the leaders come together to create the necessary non-partisan strategy that our province will finally meet and overcome this crises during the next term of office. A strategy, complete with timely implementation, that empowers and supports the Department of Health as well as health stake holders including patients can put Nova Scotia in line with Canada’s national standards and keep us there.

Such a bold coming together of leadership to finally solve this crisis should serve as a model to meet the other challenging opportunities facing our aging population and future generations of Nova Scotians.

Our hope in raising this solution is based on the belief that all political parties in Nova Scotia would agree that timely essential health care should be viewed as a Canadian right and freedom under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Therefore, if you and your party can say “Yes, we believe timely essential health care is a right of every Nova Scotian.” Your party along with your opponents will give Nova Scotians the confidence that whether in power or in opposition that you will come together in good faith to create a non-partisan strategy. A strategy that can be implemented to move all essential orthopedic surgeries’ wait times to less than 1 year including the creation of an on-going system following 2019 that meets the national benchmark every year.

Consider what saying “No” either directly or by lack of such action because of the cost of continued partisan politics will be.

Those who are suffering and have suffered during the past nine years with wait times more than three years are not numbers. They are people. They include your political party supporters, families, members and neighbors who are suffering from denial of timely essential orthopedic surgery. Suffering that includes but not limited to:

 Physical anguish when they walk/move;
 Mental anguish knowing there is no timely relief to their suffering;
 Opioid addiction from long term use of pain killers needed for minimal relief
 Loss of income from not being able to work
 Loss of income from having to act as a care giver for one who should be able to care for themselves
 Emotional anguish for loved ones needless ongoing suffering
 Anguish of surgeons and staff who do not receive the support to correct the crises and implement the changes to fix this broken system.

The solution and resolution to this unnecessary physical, mental, and financial harm inflicted on the suffering of individuals as well as their families is long overdue and must stop now. It is long past time of praising small improvements that never get Nova Scotians up to meeting the 90% national benchmark for timely essential orthopedic surgeries. It should not be necessary for seniors and other Nova Scotians to make wait times a Charter issue of timely essential health care against the government of the province of Nova Scotia. CARP Nova Scotia would welcome the chance to facilitate the initial coming together of party political leaders to begin this discussion. We encourage all parties to work together to meet 5 of the priorities important to our aging population as outlined in our attached CARP N.S. Priorities for the next provincial government.

It is time to come together as Nova Scotians and not only solve this wait time crisis but to come together to lay a non-partisan process to meet the challenging opportunity to create an Age Friendly Nova Scotia.

Hopeful regards,
Ian D. MacDonald
Volunteer Chair CARP Nova Scotia
Email: [email protected]
Cc: All MLA Candidates

The CARP Nova Scotia Chapter is a non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada. We seek social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. Through our network of chapters across Canada such as our Nova Scotia Chapter, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.