Halifax — Progressive Conservative leader Tim Houston of Nova Scotia began the third day of the election race with the central theme of his campaign: perceived health care gaps.
Mr Houston appeared at a press conference with Michael Nickerson of the Paramedics Union on Monday, and said ordering pizza in the province is often faster than getting service from an ambulance.
Mr Nickerson of the International Union of Operator Engineers said there have been 12 reports of two or fewer ambulances being available in different counties across the province in the past 24 hours.
He thanked Houston for inviting him, but said his presence at the press conference did not mean that his union had formally supported Tory policies.
The leader of the official opposition has said his government will add $127 million to the health budget if voted to power and that reforms in primary care will help ease pressure on ambulance services.
Houston said Monday that a Conservative government would consider increasing the budget for emergency services after his party looked at data on call volumes and staff.
The NDP also focused its Monday announcement on health care, emphasizing that it would end charges for the use of ambulances.
Party leader Gary Burrill met with Danica Pettipas, who committed the crime of receiving four ambulance bills for visits between the Halifax Infirmary, a COVID-19 unit and a convalescent hospital, while ‘she was ill with COVID-19. She said that two bills for ambulance charges related to COVID-19 had been canceled but two more could not be drawn.
Burrill said that an NDP government would almost certainly eliminate ambulance fees for all Nova Scotians, separating his party from Progressive Conservatives on the issue. Mr Houston said he did not agree with the fee removal because it could allow people to use ambulances to avoid expensive hospital parking.
Meanwhile, Liberal Leader Ian Rankin balked at economic issues on Monday, announcing that a re-elected Liberal government would invest $45 million over five years to renew a program that allows businesses to invest in clean technology. encourages for.
He made the announcement during a facility tour of Den Haan Greenhouse in Lawrencetown, where the company used a similar program to purchase energy efficient LED lighting for crops.
In March, the Liberal government released a report by the American company Fitch & Associates on the province’s ambulance system. The study presented in 2019 found that ambulances spend too much time on non-productive and non-essential activities. Health Minister Zach Churchill said at the time that several recommendations were being implemented, adding that the report’s data does not suggest a general increase in waiting times across the province, although challenges remain.
When the legislature was dissolved and elections were called on Saturday, the Liberals had 24 of the 51 seats, followed by the Progressive Conservatives with 17. The New Democrats had five seats, and three independents and two vacant seats.
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