Fiscal restraint talk leaves Michael concerned about health care
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says her concerns for the health care of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are mounting by the day. The federal government has not renewed the health care accord with the provinces; this will cost this province just over $20 million this year and almost half a billion dollars in the next 10.
Oil prices, on which much of the government’s projections are based, are bottoming out and yesterday the finance minister revealed that crown corporation Nalcor is looking for half a billion dollars again in the next budget.
“The Premier is already talking fiscal restraint, months ahead of his budget; the federal government is reneging on its responsibility for health care; yesterday we learned Nalcor will be looking for another half billion dollars,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.
“I ask the Premier, does he have a vision for our health care other than cutting services?”
Michael says many groups in the province are still reeling from the impact of government’s last round of cuts, and are far from getting the vital services they need. She cites children with autism as one such group.
“I ask the Premier, what is his plan to end wait lists for Janeway Occupational Therapists who are so swamped that they can no longer conduct school visits for children with autism?” she said.
“Does the premier think it is acceptable for parents to be told that their child must wait up to 2 years to see an Occupational Therapist?”