March 30, 2005 BY FACSIMILE
Hon. Angus MacIsaac
Minister of Health
P.O. Box 488
Halifax, N.S. B3J 2R8
Dear Hon. MacIsaac:
We are writing about the information for Nova Scotia that is included in the 2003-2004 Canada Health Act Annual Report which was just released in February. In particular, we are concerned with the information provided on page 70 of that report under the heading of Private For-Private Facilities.
We would like to know exactly which specific private, for profit surgical facility is included for the years 1999-00 to 2003-04. Whoever it was performed a decreasing number of insured hospital services in that time period. If this is referring to the Morgentaler abortion clinic, it was closed in November 2003. We also wonder why there is no apparent reference to the Private MRI Clinic in Halifax under diagnostic imaging facilities which opened in August 2002.
We therefore wonder about the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information that was provided by your Department to Health Canada. As you may know, the Federal Auditor General reported in 2002 that Health Canada is unable to tell Parliament the extent to which health care delivery in each province and territory complies with the criteria and conditions of the Canada Health Act. If the section of the information is not fully accurate or complete, we strongly believe that your Department should be taking steps to advise Health Canada and Nova Scotians as soon as possible to ensure a full assessment of how well the Canada Health Act is being followed in our province.
On a related matter, we question why it is so difficult to find out on your departments website what specific insured services are covered in this province. The closest reference is to that of Nova Scotias Health Card. We wonder why a specific listing of insured services could not also be provided as is done in your Departments submission for this Annual Report.
We look for hearing from you about what appear to us to be serious shortcomings in your Departments reporting for the Annual Report.
Debbie L. Kelly, Chairperson
Nova Scotia Citizens Health Care Network
c. Maureen MacDonald, NDP Health Critic
Dave Wilson, Liberal Health Critic
Canadian Health Coalition
NS Auditor General
Federal Auditor General