Nova Scotia Liberal Party leadership candidate Labi Kousoulis has released his vision for health care in the province.
“In order to best serve Nova Scotians, we need a modern health-care delivery model that addresses gaps and reaches those who experience inequity in service delivery,” Kousoulis said in the release. “We can no longer afford to operate under an outdated service delivery model. COVID-19 has shown us that a more efficient and modernized delivery model will better serve all Nova Scotians.”
Kousoulis said he has been meeting with health-care groups, patient advocacy organizations, unions, and Nova Scotians to get their opinions on health-care delivery and ideas for solutions.
Maintaining spending on renovations and expansions of health-care centres is important, he said, and service delivery must look for innovations so all Nova Scotians can access health-care services.
“Virtual care and telehealth during COVID-19 has made speaking to a physician, renewing a prescription, and making front-line care accessible during this pandemic,” Kousoulis said. “I will extend this care model until 2021 and review this model of service delivery with an aim to extend it further.”
He said he also wants to put $10 million annually into the 811 telehealth program to provide a new model of care, which could include having recently retired physicians available to Nova Scotians on the 811 wait list.
His idea for a reformed 811 system will offer a timely first point of contact to Nova Scotians without a family doctor, he said in the release, and he wants to increase the recruitment efforts to bring new doctors to the province.
Kousoulis also said he wants to tackle wait times by creating a health-care nursing fund to help medical practices hire nurses.
“This will reduce the burden on practices, address ongoing wait times, and allow more Nova Scotians to access a family physician,” he said.
Kousoulis is running against former cabinet ministers Randy Delorey and Iain Rankin to lead the provincial Liberals. The new leader will be selected by electronic voting and will be announced at the leadership convention Feb. 6, 2021. Premier Stephen McNeil, the current leader of the Liberal party, announced in August that he would be stepping down.