For Immediate Release
11 January, 2023
Concerns are compounding for NL NDP Leader and M.H.A. for St. John’s Centre, Jim Dinn, as the province continues to make health announcements that create more questions than answers. He’s calling on government to clearly communicate when people will get to see a doctor. The Minister of Health has announced recruitment of some physicians, an agreement with the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, and funding for clinics. However, the Minister was not able to confirm how many of these clinics are staffed, if staffing them meant closure of other practices, and more importantly when people who have been on waitlists for months will be seen by a doctor.
“It’s concerning that when asked the Minister of Health could not indicate how many collaborative care clinics are operational. Since they’re only funding eight this year the Minister should be able to answer that question,” said Dinn. “Last Spring government announced an RFP to develop a comprehensive resources plan for health to look at staffing. Has this RFP been awarded? We need to know what the plan is to address issues in healthcare staffing that is causing professionals to leave public health before we recruit more into the same broken system.”
The NL NDP is calling on the Minister of Health to clearly communicate the exact number of collaborative care clinics that are fully operational, their location, and how this has impacted the backlog of patients waiting to see a family doctor. Progress updates are also lacking with respect to setting up virtual ER supports and proper resourcing.
“It’s great to announce new doctors are being recruited, however, people are on waitlists and not being called back, and emergency rooms continue to close,” said Dinn. “Its unacceptable to say it’s a national problem or a global reality. Deal with it. That’s the role of government,” said Dinn. “Our public healthcare system needs to be strengthened, not left to collapse under zero based budgeting, or cutting positions by attrition as successive governments have been known to do in this province. Public healthcare needs to be there when people need it and government needs to be clear on when people will see real change.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com