Who pays?

MLA con­cerned about fundrais­ing for equip­ment

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON / PROVINCE - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster is not happy about what a lo­cal hospi­tal had to do re­cently to get a piece of med­i­cal equip­ment re­placed.

Fundrais­ing at Sa­cred Heart Hospi­tal in Cheticamp paid to re­place the hospi­tal’s X-ray ma­chine, a stan­dard piece of med­i­cal equip­ment that would nor­mally have been funded by the prov­ince for up to 75 per cent of the cost.

In­stead, the com­mu­nity fundraised more than $200,000 to en­sure they got what they needed.

“Only for the gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity, the hospi­tal would not have got­ten the new ma­chine,” said MacMaster. “This is ba­sic hospi­tal equip­ment and our pro­vin­cial tax dol­lars should help to pay for it.”

Although the Sa­cred Heart Health Foun­da­tion has said there has been some in­di­ca­tion that there will be sup­port from the gov­ern­ment, no amount has been stated and no time­line has been given.

MacMaster says this isn’t an ac­cept­able sit­u­a­tion.

“This should not be seen as “a gift” from gov­ern­ment,” said MacMaster. “These are our health-care dol­lars and they should be find­ing their way back to the Cheticamp com­mu­nity.

“I think we have a health­care sys­tem in this coun­try that we pay a lot of taxes for and those tax dol­lars should come back to our lo­cal health­care sys­tems.

“It seems some­times the only way you can get gov­ern­ment to act is to talk about it pub­licly. I think it’s some­thing the pub­lic should be aware of — I think the more peo­ple are aware about it, the bet­ter. And some­times that can mo­ti­vate gov­ern­ments to act. In this case, that would in­volve pro­vid­ing some fund­ing.”

MacMaster says the com­mu­nity should not be pun­ished for hav­ing the ini­tia­tive to raise a lot of money.

“It re­ally took the com­mu­nity ral­ly­ing to­gether to make this hap­pen. There’s fu­ture equip­ment that may also need to be re­placed — it’s not a large ur­ban area — it’s not good for them to have to de­plete their fundrais­ing ac­count com­pletely on one project when there could be a need to raise money for other projects.”

MacMaster is hope­ful that if enough peo­ple speak out about the lack of gov­ern­ment fund­ing, the prov­ince will pro­vide the money.

“This re­minds me of what hap­pened in Inverness,” said MacMaster. “For years, gov­ern­ment said we could not have the CT scan­ner de­spite the need ex­pressed by lo­cal med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als. That story ended well, but only be­cause peo­ple fought for it.

“Must we do the same for Sa­cred Heart?”

MacMaster

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