Green candidate Dr. Chris Milburn was recently quoted in a CBC article suggesting that some emergency rooms should be closed. Dr. Milburn was speaking his own opinion as a candidate, as he is welcome to do in the Green Party. He was not expressing an official party position.
Dr. Milburn's position is not part of the Green platform, but he should be commended for raising sincere concerns about a tough issue, not to gain votes, but because this is something he believes. That's what the Green Party is all about.
Whether or not ERs are closed, it is clear that in the midst of an economic crisis tough budget decisions will have to be made across the board, including in health care. We have to make sure that we get the most health and wellness for Nova Scotians out of every dollar we spend. If that means keeping ERs open, that's what we must do. But if that means bringing a community health centre or a family practice to under served communities instead, than we need to stay open to that possibility.
Having worked in ERs as a medical doctor, Dr. Milburn has an educated opinion on this subject. We need politicians that will ask the hard questions and make the hard decisions that need to be made. Sometimes the politically expedient position is not the best for Nova Scotia and must be challenged. I thank Dr. Milburn for his courage to speak the truth as he sees it.