[This] announcement, while flashy, has left more questions than answers. There is one thing for certain, every community in Nova Scotia must now be asking themselves: are we next?" — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
Halifax (25 June 2018) — Jason MacLean, President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees' Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) joins Cape Breton families, seniors and health care workers with shock and anger at the Liberal government's announcement that the Northside Consolidated Hospital and New Waterford General Hospital will close and be replaced with Community Health Centres.
"When was the community consulted for this plan?" asks MacLean. "The community shouldn't have to hear that their local hospitals are closing by turning on the news."
Communities blindsided by hospital closures
Staff and patients were also left in the dark when details emerged this morning.
"People who count on those hospitals deserved much better and sounds of their displeasure were clear during the press conference. It was obvious they were blindsided," says MacLean.
Very few details provided
Details for such an important announcement, impacting so many people, were lacking any clarity or substance. Basic questions like:
- When will this take place?
- What will be the impact on workers?
- Are there any "new" long-term care spaces being created?
These questions were avoided by the Nova Scotia Health Authority, and the Premier's remarks did little to relieve fear or provide any clear path for the future.
"The Liberals put the government spin machine into overdrive to create a flashy video and new website. But they did nothing to alleviate the fears and consequences of shutting the doors on hospitals that many families depend on for care and workers count on for employment," says MacLean.
"Cape Bretoners are hardworking people and to have their voices left out of the process is shameful. It's clear that this Liberal government isn't interested in what people on the island have to say about this. [This] announcement, while flashy, has left more questions than answers. There is one thing for certain, every community in Nova Scotia must now be asking themselves: are we next?"
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE