2019 Nova Scotia Budget Offers No New Funding for Programs or Frontline Services

HALIFAX - Despite the government touting health care a major budget priority, today’s Nova Scotia Budget offers no new funding for programs or frontline health care services.

The $191.6 million in “new funding” includes $156.9 million in previously announced money for the redevelopment of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and the QEII Health Sciences Centre and over $8 million dollars in increased administrative costs at the Department of Health and Wellness, the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Hospital. After subtracting administrative increases and previously announced infrastructure funding there is just $26.5 million dollars remaining for frontline services. This is a cut in real dollars when inflation is factored in.

“Despite looking good on paper, this budget does nothing to provide immediate relief to communities and families who are struggling to get the health care they need,” said Chris Parsons, provincial coordinator of the Nova Scotia Health Coalition.

While new spending on health infrastructure is necessary, the redevelopment of the QEII using a wasteful Public Private Partnership model which has greatly inflated the price of the project. $151 million dollars has been committed to the design and advance legal work on the QEII redevelopment alone. Moreover, this money dedicated to renovations which will be completed over the next decade does nothing to address the crisis facing Nova Scotians in 2019.

In addition, the announcement of 120 “new” long-term care beds in Cape Breton does not factor in the loss of 57 beds at the soon to be shuttered New Waterford Consolidated Hospital and Northside General Hospital.

“We are in the midst of a crisis and this budget does nothing to address that. The government’s framing of this budget does not match the reality of how this money will be spent or the concerns of Nova Scotians,” Parsons added.

Chris Parsons