For Immediate Release
20 November, 2023
NDP MHA Lela Evans (Torngat Mountains) is alarmed at the lack of details and considerations surrounding today’s announcement concerning virtual care expansion in the province. Evans is concerned that government is creating inequities for seniors, people with disabilities, and rural communities.
“Today’s announcement may improve access for some, but it was alarming that there was no explanation about how government will overcome barriers faced by seniors, Indigenous communities, people living with disabilities, and people on lower incomes who may not have access to reliable internet or be comfortable using the technology needed for virtual care,” said Evans. “It’s very concerning that the Minister was evasive on the costs surrounding this initiative. Every dollar spent out of the province to buy for-profit healthcare is a dollar that cannot be invested locally in public health. Remember, calling 811 costs more than speaking to a doctor in-person,” said Evans.
“I fear that what should be a well thought out temporary stop gap measure to improve the reach of public health while government deals with it’s inability to retain healthcare workers is going to become status quo,” said Evans. “It was concerning to hear government officials say that virtually delivered care is better care with nothing to back up that claim.”
Also left out of the health action update was information about how many healthcare professionals have been lost. The NDP is continues to call on the government to be more transparent and forthcoming with key information about the state of healthcare in the province.
“To be told how many doctors or nurses are recruited is useless information if we don’t know how many we’ve lost over the same period of time,” said Evans. “The provincial government needs to be more transparent and forthcoming with information about the state of healthcare. Until they do, these announcements are a waste of everyone’s time.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or firstname.lastname@example.org