Government passed the Health Authorities Act today, Oct. 3, that sets the groundwork to consolidate 10 district health authorities into two.
“Nova Scotians told us they wanted a strong, unified health-care system. They want us to spend less on administration, and focus on front-line care,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “Most of all they want to know that the health-care system puts their needs first. That’s what this act will allow.”
Under the act:
— wages, pensions, health benefits and retirement allowances for workers will not change
— a mediator will work with the four existing health-care unions, and employers, to determine how to move forward
— government will set a strategic, multi-year health plan for the province, with targets for improvement
— the IWK and provincial health board will be required by law to create annual public engagement plans, to ensure community voices are heard
“Health-care workers, government, employers and Nova Scotians share the most important goal, to improve the health care we offer across the province,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “I encourage all sides to work together as we move forward, for the benefit of patients.”
If both unions and employers agree on a mediator, that person could be appointed within the week.