Your PC Candidate In Lunenburg West

FACT CHECK: NDP must address LTC waits now

Aug 26 2013HALIFAX, NS – Today, the Dexter NDP acknowledged our rapidly aging population and lack of long-term care beds is of major concern but PC Health and Wellness critic Chris d’Entremont says they are refusing to do anything about it.

FACT: The wait list for a long-term care bed has grown to 2,334 people – that’s more than a 50 per cent increase since the NDP took office.

FACT: The waiting list for nursing homes is longer than it has ever been.

FACT: According to the Department of Health’s 2011/12 Accountability Report, in January 2012, 59 per cent (1,098 of 1,860) of the people on the wait list for a nursing home bed required home care as they waited. This is providing additional strain on the wait list for home care.

FACT: Hospitals are keeping patients waiting for long-term care placement in hospital beds, backlogging ERs and compromising emergency services in some communities.

FACT: At a January 2013 Public Accounts Committee meeting, Health and Wellness officials confirmed it costs taxpayers up to three times more to keep a senior in hospital compared to the cost of care at a nursing home.

FACT: The NDP have not announced a single new bed since they became government over three years ago. All they’ve done is cut ribbons on facilities that were announced before they took office.

FACT: According to the Department of Health’s May 2011 report Removing Barriers in Accessing Long Term Care, 97 per cent of people waiting for long-term care were assessed at having a high risk for adverse outcomes.

FACT: According to Statistics Canada, over the next 20 years the number of seniors aged 80 and over in Nova Scotia will more than double. The 2011 census shows the current number as 40,439. In 2032, it will be 84,700. We have lost three years of preparation while the NDP did nothing.

FACT: As of 2010/11, only 618 of the beds promised in the first phase of the Continuing Care Strategy were opened.  The strategy called for 846 beds by 2010.

FACT: While in opposition, the NDP often spoke out about the need for more beds to keep up with the growing demand. Opposition leader Darrell Dexter told the Cape Breton Post in February 2008, “The growth in the senior demographics will quickly outpace the government’s plans to establish 832 long-term care beds by 2010.”

In response to a question about whether or not there are enough long-term care beds in Nova Scotia to meet the demand, Premier Dexter said, “I think as our demographics continue to escalate towards where we know they’re going – 1,000 people a month are turning 65 in this province – we’re going to go from 12 per cent of the population over 65 to 25 per cent of the population over 65 over the next ten, fifteen years so the demand on the long-term care will continue to grow and we will have to respond to that.”

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