Halifax – The Canadian Union of Public Employees Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh made the following statement today:

The recent announcement that the Aberdeen Hospital will close its mental health unit is the latest proof that we are just now seeing the pitfalls of the provincial decision to eliminate local health boards.

The Liberals campaigned to improve community-based decision making and ensuring decisions are made locally.

That’s simply not happening. The local boards in communities would have fought to keep these services going in our communities. Instead, the new Liberal health authority - located in Halifax - is calling the shots and local communities are losing important health care services people depend on.

Whether it’s constant emergency room closures at the Roseway Hospital Shelburne or the loss of mental health service in New Glasgow, our bet is more cuts are coming.

CUPE NS warned that a centralized health authority operated out of Halifax wouldn’t work and the health care needs of local communities would be ignored.

That’s what’s happening today. Premier McNeil and Minister of Health Glavine campaigned to put the needs of patients first through investments in front-line health care services and targeted reductions in wait times for essential surgical procedures. Now we have people who can’t get services in communities.

In fact, McNeil and Glavine claimed that a Liberal government would immediately provide up to $120,000 in tuition relief to 25 new doctors per year for four years, in exchange for a five-year commitment to practice in under-serviced communities in Nova Scotia. That promise, too, has been broken.