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September 16, 2003 meeting of the NS Healthcare Network

Present: John Ryan, Cathy Murphy, Ian Johnson, Debbie Kelly (chair), Iris Steele, Anne Smith, Mary Ruth MacLennan, Charlie MacLennan, Ken Brown, Bruce Gates

Guests : Anne and Brian Nolton

Regrets: Peggy


Expenses were approved as follows:

$411.48 - Westin Hotel - Lobby

$258.75 Press Conference meeting room

$345.00 Daily News ad (election)

$493.45 herald ad (election)

$27.48 meeting lunch

Cathy advised she will follow-up with the PSAC concerning the $500 committed during the election.

  1. Review of National Council lobby Efforts and next steps

It was felt that the lobby at the Westin was a success, good lobby efforts, good press conference, well attended. Good media coverage. Several effective interviews. A Minister of Health out west complimented us on the success of our lobby effort and advised we made a difference by being there. The Provincial Health Council received phone calls which they redirected to Ian.

The second day effort was also successful. Mark Patrone (ATV) and he interviewed Debbie and he provided excellent coverage. Good radio coverage in Port Hawksbury and Halifax.  Most radio stations were playing talks from the press conference people, Cliff, Anne, Debbie and Linda.

We are pleased Cliff White bought in the NAFTA into the discussions. We felt there was agreement to set up a council - 13 government reps, 13 public/private reps, 1 chair. Now we have to work on it’s mandate.

We feel it was agreed to keep the mandate consistent……

There is $10m of new money for the council. More pressure is needed as there are more things to be sorted out. The Nurses unions, Quebec federation, and Quebec Healthcare coalition will be there to lobby in Quebec. We have to encourage the coalition to ensure there are people there to lobby in Quebec. At the next meeting.

The NS Network will send a letter expressing our concerns before the next meeting. How will people be appointed to the National Council?

Ken Brown will ask the Superannuates to send a letter as well.

Mary Ruth suggested we try to get a meeting with the Federal Minister Anne McLellan.

Provincial Council

Meantime, the Provincial Health Council still has vacancies. John Ryan advised the Council will return to their practice of posting minutes of meetings. The Council has hired a researcher. Anne Smith will call and ask him to research some questions for which she has been trying to find answers.

Also, John Ryan will do a letter to the Council to ask when they plan their next tour.

Debbie will try to get a meeting with the new Provincial Minister.

Update on Canadian Health Coalition (CHC)

It was agreed that we have to do all we can to lobby for more funding for the CHC. We so desperately need that national group. Debbie suggested we all donate $50 or whatever we can, if at all possible. (There are no tax receipts.)

A resolution was passed to donate $200 from this Network to the CHC.

A strategic planning session was planned and cancelled due to lack of funding. This is terrible. Debbie will send an e-mail and copy unions and other coalitions.

Possible Plans for the new Legislative Session Opening on Sept 25

There was some discussion about the opening of the Legislature. It was decided we do not need to be there. We do need to make a follow-up request with the Minister of Health for a meeting. Debbie will prepare letter. Issues to push - more beds, MRIs, long term care, HST on heating oil, ombudsman, accountability.

Mary Ruth bought up an issue of staff leaving one hospital in Sydney and taking a taxi to another hospital to give care.

Anne and Debbie will do a letter to the District Health Authority about the closing of the Roseway Hospital Emergency at nights on weekends.

Debbie and Ian will do a letter requesting meetings with the provincial health critics.

Planning a Provincial Conference

A planning committee was put in place to plan a provincial conference next year. Where will we get money? We need to do this both to build the network and to keep the focus on healthcare. Cathy will convene a meeting of the committee in October - Ken, Charlie, Ian, Debbie. Debbie mentioned maybe we could work with the Brain Injury of NS Committee. They have a workshop coming up and Debbie would like to have one of us participate. Ian, John and Cathy said they could share up the day.


Cathy suggested our website be updated with our letters and press releases. That way the public could better understand what we are all about. Cathy will call Steve to arrange. John will provide a list of links.


CHC/NDP critic advised of a standing committee that will hold hearings on prescription drugs. We made a request to appear on Oct 27. There is also an opportunity for a written submission. John and Ian are working on this issue.


Our guests made a presentation on their particular concerns with a long time struggle with the healthcare system.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct 16 at 7 pm.