For some Nova Scotians, the heroes that went to zeroes on November 30, 2021, this is the question they’ve had to answer, in these last 57 weeks. Our invaluable Nova Scotia Healthcare workers who made an informed, private medical decision regarding a new, under tested vaccine.
Through no fault of their own, and to no benefit for anyone, they were discriminated against, excluded, and put in financial peril. Even though Nova Scotia Public Health clearly and knowingly states that some of the factors that impact individual health are exclusion, discrimination, and poverty.
What these healthcare workers, and by proxy all Nova Scotians who rely on our deeply broken public healthcare system, have had to endure is inhumane and unjust. This group includes over 250 Nova Scotia healthcare workers that we are aware of. There could be more. Doctors, Nurses, Long Term Care Workers and Paramedics.
We are all acutely aware how desperately we need these healthcare workers back on the job. To continue their senseless, anti-science unpaid leave, which prevents hundreds of able bodied healthcare workers from serving the desperately understaffed system we all rely on, is blatant medical neglect all Nova Scotians.
We can’t undo the harm that has been done to these healthcare workers and those they could have cared for, including Allison Holthoff, who recently died whilst at the emergency department in Cumberland County, unable to access care for hours, when it was too late. However, we can do everything and use every resource we have to ensure the next 911 or emergency department visit doesn't end the same way.
When we shared this information with our NSCLA readers this past December, we heard quickly and clearly from so many who were dismayed about this mistreatment, and the misuse of our healthcare workers and system overall. Dr. Strang and Premier Houston expressed last spring that “we need to embrace living with COVID-19, get back out there, and allow healthcare choices to become personal choices based on individual responsibility once again”. Dr. Barrett at Dalhousie was quoted as saying “vaccines don’t prevent all infection and transmission, but they were never meant to do that”.
Adding insult to injury is that Nova Scotia is now one of a small minority of Provinces, along with British Columbia, that still has this political mandate in place, at the expense of literal healthcare for all. As a result, we have lost healthcare workers to New Brunswick, PEI and beyond, because they have been welcomed to work there.
Your constituents need you to intercede. To set this right the best you can, as soon as you can, for them, and in turn, for all Nova Scotians.