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Murphy’s Logic: A diagnosis for the N.S. PC’s health-care promise

Tim Houston has been premier of Nova Scotia for two years now. By law, the next election is scheduled for July 15, 2025, so he’s just past half way through his term.

Houston and his PCs swept to power on a bold promise – to heal a health-care system in crisis.

But the very broad nature of the promise makes it a difficult one to keep. While Houston did propose some specific measures, his big picture promise – to fix health care – was almost certainly interpreted differently by every person who heard it, depending on their personal problem: wait times for surgery, overcrowded ERs, hospital closures, staff shortages. Tim Houston has taken steps to address each of these issues; all involve spending great gobs of money. The government’s been running advertisements reiterating its commitment to fixing health care, and there are claims of some improvements – although most are not easy to quantify.

And, the one metric that is obvious, doesn’t look good. Earlier this year, the number of Nova Scotians without a family doctor was pegged at around 150,000 – 15 per cent of the population. That’s about double what it was when the PCs came to power two years ago.

Tim Houston didn’t specifically promise a doctor for every Nova Scotian, as his predecessor Stephen McNeil once did, but he did promise to fix health care. A lot of people heard that as a promise to get them a family doctor.

Half way through his term, Tim Houston’s got a long way to go if he’s going to deliver the fix they’re waiting for. Top Stories

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