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Queens-Shelburne MLA worries about Roseway Hospital's future

Shelburne Roseway Hospital.
Shelburne Roseway Hospital. - Tina Comeau

SHELBURNE, N.S. – Queens-Shelburne MLA Kim Masland fears that Roseway Hospital may be next on the Liberal chopping block, after failing to get a commitment from Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey that it will stay open.

“This Liberal government has proven at every turn that they can’t be trusted with our healthcare system,” said Masland in a press release after raising the issue during question period in the provincial legislature on Sept. 7. “My constituents are suffering because of these hospital closures and the minister refuses to acknowledge that our hospital and our healthcare is their priority.”

Masland asked Minister Delorey if he would give his word that the Roseway Hospital would remain an open, full-service hospital. “Mr. Speaker, this minister and his government are setting the Roseway Hospital up for failure. Doctor shortages, continuous emergency room closures, outsourced lab testing, and many other dismantled services are affecting the viability of the hospital. My colleague from Northside-Westmount stood in his spot last spring and asked these same questions about hospitals in his area. He pointed to the same signals and raised the same concerns. Now we have seen how this movie has ended for the people of Cape Breton and their hospital, Northside General. My question to the minister is, will he give me his word today that for as long as he is the Minister of Health and Wellness, the Roseway Hospital will be an open, full-service hospital. Will he make that commitment?”

Delorey’s reply: “Mr. Speaker, I give my commitment to all Nova Scotians that as long as I am Minister of Health and Wellness I will continue to work and make the decisions based upon the information that comes to my attention, that we believe is in the best interest to provide the health care that meets the needs of Nova Scotians from one end of this province to the other. That's what I've been tasked to do by the Premier and the people of Nova Scotia and will continue to do that.”

Masland also asked the minister why the Nova Scotia Health Authority is only advertising for an emergency department physician that is less than the full-time position that is at Roseway Hospital.

“Does the minister believe that a single, less-than-full-time position at Roseway will be adequate to keep the emergency room open, so residents can access the health care services they deserve?”

Delorey answered by telling the House of Assembly that the Nova Scotia Health Authority works diligently each and every week to make sure Emergency Room shifts can be covered.

“We have made changes this summer to help support their efforts, by increasing the compensation for locums, to support the temporary employees, temporary physicians to come in and provide that coverage when needed. We've seen a good uptake of those programs.”

The Roseway Hospital emergency room was closed for 213 hours between Aug. 1 and Aug. 22.

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