April 24, 2019 - Pregnancy care threatened by lack of anesthesiologists at Yarmouth Regional Hospital

A letter provided to prenatal patients at the Yarmouth Regional says they may not be able to deliver babies at that facility due to a lack of anesthesiologists. The letter says before going to the hospital for care, individuals should call ahead and may be directed to go to Kentville, Bridgewater, or Halifax to deliver their baby.

“I don’t think the health care crisis has been truly prioritized by the McNeil government. If the province employed more midwives, this would be less of an issue,” said Lenore Zann, Spokesperson for the Status of Women. “Babies could be born at home, and in the case of needing a transfer, the mom’s would be taken by ambulance.”

“This of course doesn't solve the anthesiologist issue, since even with a midwife you still need to be close to a hospital with surgical services in case a C-section has to be done rapidly for the health of the mom and/or baby. But it would help.” 

“The Liberals’ inaction on the health file is inexcusable,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “This situation in Yarmouth is absurd. By centralizing decision-making in Halifax the McNeil government has created a situation where local problems reach this level of dysfunction and patients don’t know where to turn for help.”

During the five years the McNeil government has been in power, in-person prenatal classes have been phased out and midwifery services in rural communities have had to be suspended twice due to lack of support.

“Women’s health care is under far too much stress. The situation is Yarmouth is evidence of how much we need to diversify our women’s health care options and make sure that all health professionals are allowed to work to their full scope,” said Martha Paynter, Doctoral Candidate in Nursing, Dalhousie University School if Nursing. “For example, the government should be expanding midwifery and making sure women feel empowered to make health care decisions that are right for them and their babies.”

The NDP Caucus tabled legislation during the spring session to expand the midwifery program to all communities in Nova Scotia and asked the Premier and Minister of Health numerous questions daily about the state of Nova Scotia’s health care. 

 Lenore Zann, MLA
Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River
557 Prince St.
Truro, Nova Scotia B2N 1G2
Fax: 902-897-1841