Dr. Bob Martel has written an important piece about health care in Nova Scotia. The Herald posted it to their website, but I fear too many people may have missed the notice and link to Martel’s piece.
Dr. Martel’s four solutions for the sickness that is Nova Scotia health care and the Nova Scotia Health Authority starts with this:
- The current leadership at the NSHA needs to change. They have had four years or more to communicate a strategy and operational plan to change the trajectory of health care. They have failed, and so they must go.
I whole-heartedly agree. In the last two decades we have twice changed how health care was organized in this province. We have altered every aspect of the delivery of health care, the duties of various providers and professionals, collective agreements, everything has changed. Except for the executives.
We still have wait-lists, we have denied care, poor patient outcomes, closed ERs, over-worked medical professionals, and on-going dissatisfaction of the public as well as doctors and nurses with the quality of care and what it takes to access it.
The failure of this version of health care in Nova Scotia comes down to two things: either we have the wrong people running it or we hired people with the wrong skill set (which means we have the wrong people in charge). There is a quotation misattributed to Albert Einstein which says, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Welcome to Nova Scotia health care. We can not achieve change will old thinkers.
There is no chorus urging the government to maintain this executive. Dr. Martel is among the first to call for a change in executives. How long before other voices join him in calling for a swift change? Is the government so committed to this executive that they will overlook our unhappy reality and jeopardize their potential for a third mandate?
There is political theory that drives governments not to admit mistakes. Politicians are advised that admitting an error or realizing a policy/action didn’t work shows weakness and arms your opposition. Politicians overlook the fact that these advisors tend to keep their jobs regardless of whether a government survives.
Merging Nova Scotia health care into one organization was a bold move. It was handed to people who haven’t lived up to that boldness and vision. For it to work, we need change at the top. Will that be change in Province House or the NSHA HQ?