Researchers call for Nova Scotia to invest in CHCs

In its 2016 annual recommendations to the Government of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS) has once again called on for investment in Community Health Centres (CHCs) as an urgent measure to improve health and healthcare in the province.

Released on December 7, 2015, the 2016 Nova Scotia Alternative Provincial Budget 2016: Stronger Together calls for the province to finally provide core, operational funding to Nova Scotia’s existing Community Health Centres and investment in new CHCs to meet the needs of Nova Scotia residents.

Specifically, CCPA-NS has called for the Government of Nova Scotia to invest $40.5 million as follows:

  1. Provide core funding for CHCs currently established in Nova Scotia represented by the Nova Scotia Federation of Community Health Centres by investing $ 500,000.00.
  2. Create a five year plan to establish 10 new community-governed-not-for-profit community health centres and dedicate $40 million in one-time infrastructure and start-up funding.
  3. Commit Physician Alternative Funding Plan (AFPs) to site-specific three-way contracts with physicians, the ministry of health and community health centres.

The call for investment in Community Health Centres comes at a period of unprecedented crisis being faced by CHCs throughout the province. CHCs have acted as health homes for Nova Scotians for decades, but do not receive core operational funding for the integrated primary care, health promotion and community health services they provide. The impact of this has already been significant but has now reached crisis proportions in the province with long-standing CHCs like Rawdon Hills Community Health Centre facing closure due to lack of government funding and the removal of physician services by the provincial government from that community.

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