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(April 6, 2017) The Nova Scotia Association of Community Health Centres (NSACHC) is encouraged to see investment by the Government of Nova Scotia in new health and social infrastructure in New Waterford. This week’s announcement by Premier Stephen McNeil of capital funding for the New Waterford and District Community Health Centre is an important step forward in delivering the integrated health and social services needed by this particular community.
“This is positive recognition by the provincial government of the need for investment in Community Health Centres throughout the province,” stated NSACHC Chair, Dr. Dorothy Barnard. “We look forward to working with the provincial government to ensure that this new Community Health Centre receives the core operating funds it requires to actually deliver services, and that Nova Scotia’s other Community Health Centres will also now receive urgently needed operational funding from the province.”
Unlike other services within Nova Scotia’s health system, Community Health Centres, like the new one announced for New Waterford, receive little or no core, annual operating funding from the provincial government. As a result, dozens of existing Community Health Centres are faced with ongoing financial crisis.
Recent research shows that 88% of Community Health Centres throughout the province face significant operational pressures affecting their ability to meet demand for health and social services. Without proper funding from the provincial government, local communities have been left trying to fill gaps through emergency fundraising, appeals to philanthropic agencies and other strategies.
Dr. Barnard noted: “Our provincial government has expressed a commitment to investing in collaborative care and health homes throughout Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia’s Community Health Centres are the province’s original health homes and have been providing collaborative care and social services for decades. However, they have been doing so without the necessary funding required from our government. A top priority for the provincial government must be to ensure that organizations already delivering collaborative care throughout Nova Scotia are adequately funded.”
In an effort to better inform Nova Scotians about the importance of Community Health Centres and the crisis they face throughout the province, the NSACHC recently launched a position paper and public campaign. In the lead up to the 2017 provincial election, the Association is calling on all political parties to commit to addressing the inadequate core operational funding of Nova Scotia’s Community Health Centres and to invest in new Community Health Centres for communities without access to appropriate health and social services.
Click here for the campaign and position paper.