MLA concerned about fundraising for equipment
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?”