Yr-end interview: NS Premier Tim Houston

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston says there is no such thing as a pushback from the province in terms of guaranteeing outcomes and performances for extra health-care funding from the federal authorities.

“We would like the federal authorities to be a companion within the funding of well being care. That is the deal,” Houston instructed CTV Atlantic.

However Houston says the federal authorities must pay its fair proportion, noting the feds used to pay 50 per cent of health-care prices. That is now right down to 22 per cent.

“Personally, each time we spend cash, we must be accountable for it,” mentioned Houston.

The province just lately introduced main health-care infrastructure spending to deliver 500 new mattress models to the Halifax Infirmary whereas additionally creating 4 new surgical wards.

“I am excited as a result of health-care staff I am listening to from are enthusiastic about it,” mentioned Houston. “As a authorities, folks will see we’re not shy about investing in well being care. We need to get well being care fastened.”

Whereas the funding primarily goes to companies within the Halifax Regional Municipality, Houston added “there’s lots happening in Cape Breton,” whereas noting “Halifax is the middle for lots of specialists and a variety of surgeons.”

“We all know the investments which are wanted should not restricted to Halifax,” he mentioned.

Houston dismissed the concept that any fast fixes exist to assist alleviate the province’s health-care disaster. As a substitute, he touted the infrastructure plan that is anticipated to take 5 years to finish.

On the subject of surgical wait instances, Houston pointed to the province’s transfer to redirect eye surgeons to different amenities to assist clear up backlogs.

“It can take time however we need to get these wait lists to what’s acceptable,” he mentioned.

With roughly one in eight Nova Scotians on the wait checklist for a household physician, Houston praised the success of the digital care program – a program he says is being scaled as much as meet the rising demand for digital well being companies.

Houston can be dedicated to recruiting extra household docs, whereas exploring choices for nurse practitioners and different health-care professionals “to work to their full scope of observe.”

“It is a variety of fingers factor,” mentioned Houston. “There isn’t any one silver reply to all of this.”

Earlier this yr, British Columbia introduced a brand new cost mannequin for household docs in an effort to incentivize potential health-care professionals to work within the province.

The plan, set to start in February 2023, will see household docs paid for time spent with a affected person reasonably than the variety of sufferers served, whereas additionally serving to with workplace and administrative prices.

When requested about Nova Scotia’s cost mannequin for household docs, Houston famous the province is concentrated on figuring out health-care professionals with a connection to Nova Scotia, including the sector has extra to supply than a good wage.

“This can be a lovely province. It is unimaginable how a lot we’ve to supply,” mentioned Houston, who did not element the vary of incentives he described.

With a number of pilot tasks associated to ongoing well being care within the promise, Houston mentioned he is “actually optimistic” that 2023 would be the yr that Nova Scotians start to see an enchancment in well being care.


On the connection between the province and the federal authorities, Houston says his staff is working productively on a variety of information.

However one factor Houston’s authorities is at odds with is the carbon tax.

“That is only one we disagree on. I do not suppose a carbon tax, which is designed to switch behaviors, it isn’t an efficient approach to assist the planet and this province,” mentioned Houston.

Houston believes Nova Scotia has the potential to turn into a frontrunner in combating the local weather disaster by harnessing wind energy and inexperienced hydrogen to revolutionize the province’s economic system and environmental future.

“That is the place I would love the federal authorities to get aligned with us and assist us on these sorts of issues,” mentioned Houston. “Do not penalize Nova Scotians with a carbon tax after they replenish their automotive.”

The province just lately launched local weather projections exhibiting Nova Scotia is on observe to rise by 5 levels by 2100 if international greenhouse gasoline emissions aren’t reduce considerably.

The brand new knowledge got here 11 years after the final local weather change projections had been launched by the province in 2011, and 17 years for the reason that final provincial threat evaluation in 2005.

It stays to be seen how the province will fund its 68-point program to battle the local weather disaster.

“We’re dedicated to all the pieces we will to guard the planet, for certain,” mentioned Houston.

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