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'Officials not listening': CUPE unites with Digby coalition on health care crisis

Joan O’Neil says she understands why young families hesitate to come to a town with such a lack of health care.
Joan O’Neil says she understands why young families hesitate to come to a town with such a lack of health care.

DIGBY, NS – The Canadian Union of Public Employees is supporting the Digby Area Health Coalition’s statement that healthcare is a major problem in Digby.

The union announced their stance May 19, and described what it sees in the Digby hospital in a release: “beds sit empty [in Digby], while neighbouring hospitals [are] unable to meet needs of all patients.”

According to national CUPE rep Carl Crouse, nearly half the hospital’s 33 beds are empty.

“In a provincial healthcare system where there is overcrowding and bed shortages, it’s a real failure of the health authority to have any facility operating below capacity,” he said.

The union represents a total 4,700 acute care facility members across Nova Scotia, including the Digby General Hospital.

Digby’s coalition revealed its report card of healthcare in Digby at a May 16 public meeting.

They will be continuing their work and have begun the project’s second phase.

“We agree with the coalition. The health authority and elected officials are not listening,” said CUPE Nova Scotia president Nan McFadgen in a release.

Digby’s situation is part of a healthcare issue gaining attention across the province.

Nova Scotia Health Coalition member Chris Parsons has spoken twice in Digby, emphasizing the many communities across the province struggling with a lack of accessible healthcare.

“You are not alone,” he said.

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