As Budget Day looms in Newfoundland and Labrador, the NDP caucus is concerned there will be a repeat of last year’s kneejerk, short-sighted decisions that cut expenditures without any apparent regard for the future societal and economic harm that would be caused by the cuts. MHAs Lorraine Michael (St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi) and Gerry Rogers (St. John’s Centre) raised those concerns related to a variety of issues in Question Period today.
“On February 28 we held a public forum inviting people and organizations to draw on their experiences and suggest how government can build a better budget,” said Michael. “The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association told us we badly need an effective chronic disease program.
“We have the highest type 2 diabetes rate in the country. We must do more to prevent expensive complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and amputations. Where is the Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Program promised in the 2015 election?”
Michael also asked about the in-home assessment program to help seniors stay in their homes, another 2015 Liberal election promise. Rogers wanted to know if government has taken the time to investigate the fallout from last year’s budget decisions.
“I ask the Minister of Health, has he done an analysis of the impact of cuts to the Adult Dental Program and over-the-counter drug coverage on the health of people affected and on other aspects of the health care system?” she asked.
“Has the Minister of AES done an analysis of the impact of cutting people’s bus passes on their mental health? An analysis of the extra time and cost to the health care system of repeatedly sending people back to get doctors’ letters in order to appeal the denial of over-the-counter drug coverage or bus passes?”