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Halifax The old adage you cant get blood from a stone never rang more true this week after it was confirmed that massive cuts would seriously cripple the provinces health care system.

These cuts seriously undermine our health care system as we know it, says Betty Jean Sutherland, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Nova Scotia. The Liberals stumbled onto what weve been saying all along. That you cant take out $84 million from health and still expect patients to be cared for with the same level of attention.

On Tuesday, Russell MacLellan, the Leader of the Liberals stood up in the House and took to task the government s plan to shut down several rural hospitals and downgrade many others to health care centres. CUPE has maintained that this was the governments intention even before the Finance Minister released his budget two months ago.

Weve been saying that our health care system is on the verge of collapse and MacLellans comments in the House confirm it, says Wayne Thomas, CUPEs Provincial Acute Care Facilitator. But what sickens me about this whole situation is that Premier Hamm has been sitting on this information for months while thousands of front line health care workers are hanging on the edge, uncertain whether theyll be receiving pink slips a month from now.

Now is the time for the government to face the music. The Torys owe it to the public and the provinces health care providers to come clean about what hospitals will be shut and who will be losing their jobs, adds Sutherland.

CUPE Nova Scotia represents 6,500 health care workers in 32 hospitals and 35 nursing homes across the province.

For more information, please contact:
Wayne Thomas
New Glasgow
(902) 752-2244
Betty Jean Sutherland
New Glasgow
(902) 396-5429