Posted September 30, 2016

Many Challenges Remain For Health Authority

The amalgamation of nine regional health authorities is off to a good start, but the battle is less than half won.

Long term care programs cost the province $536 million in 2015-2016, up 22% over the previous five years—even though the number of beds increased by only 2%.
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Nova Scotia immigration numbers for the first half of 2016 are up sharply, already exceeding 2015’s full year numbers. Good.

Growth in some of the province’s nominee programs and an influx of Syrian refugees were the key contributors. The federal government has an important role in each.
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Nova Scotia had another strong month for tourism in July. There are several reasons for this success, but the Yarmouth Ferry is not one of them.
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“It’s fundamentally important to the health-care system […] that medically necessary services are universally insured and there are no barriers to access to those services.”

Thus spoke federal Health Minister Jane Philpott to explain why her department is supporting the government of British Columbia in its litigation with Vancouver’s Cambie Surgery Centre.
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With the notable exceptions of oil-dependent Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, the provinces have been moving to balance their books.

Each of the other eight is moving toward fiscal balance. Some are faster than others—BC is already there, and Nova Scotia has good prospects to be there next year. The rest are proceeding more slowly.
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