This is what a crisis looks like

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The health care crisis has been at the forefront of media across Nova Scotia. It has been for some time.

Every tragic story of the health care system failing someone strikes at the very heart of each and every Nova Scotian at all corners of the province.

But every time, no matter how tragic, how horrible the story, I always think: “it can’t possibly get any worse.”

And then the next headline comes, the next sad story, and I am left thinking all over again that this is the worst it can be.

Every day, I take calls from constituents who have felt the bitter sting of a health care system in crisis. They are frustrated. They are angry and they are afraid.

Their stories make me scared that perhaps the worst is yet to come.

We may live in different parts of Nova Scotia, but one thing that binds us is the deep resentment we feel for our government’s terrible management of health care.

Instead of acting with compassion, this government refuses to acknowledge that a crisis even exists.

At one point, when we looked around the province and saw local hospitals, clinics and health care centres struggling to handle the growing need, we still had some peace of mind that the regional hospitals would remain full service and ready to provide care.

That, unfortunately, is no longer the case.

Cape Breton Regional Hospital has settled into the new norm of backlogs in the ER, ambulance shortages and hallway medicine. The Valley Regional Hospital in the Annapolis Valley has been struggling to manage the growing waitlist of surgery and procedures that is in the thousands, and most recently, news out of Yarmouth broke that due to shortages of anaesthetists, pregnant mothers may have to travel two plus hours to give birth.

The health care crisis is now embedded at the very core of our regional health care system.

Yet you will not see a Liberal MLA anywhere show courage and acknowledge what is obvious to the rest of us – a full blown crisis the likes of which this province has never experienced before.

As always, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to our health care workers. They have been our rock in this storm.

In all my years serving the people of Cape Breton as the MLA for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg, I have always felt that honesty, even the tough honesty, has a role to play in how we govern the province.

There has never been a more crucial time for this Liberal government to be honest with Nova Scotians and admit what has been staring us in the face for years.

This is what a crisis looks like.

Alfie MacLeod,

MLA Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg