The Nova Scotia Department of Community Services (DCS) backed off a clandestine plan to cut medical services for disabled Nova Scotians living in special care homes lateThe above is from Parker Barss Donham's blog, Contrarian.
FridayThursday afternoon, hours before it was to take effect.
The province had planned to implement the unannounced cuts over the Canada Day long weekend, but shelved the plan hours after the Canadian Press News Agency sought comment from DCS Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse. Operators of special care homes were told the policy was “on hold” in late afternoon emails from frontline care coordinators.
The policy would have curtailed coverage for a wide range of medical benefits including dental care, drugs, and medical supplies.
In one case, workers caring for an elderly diabetic who receives a living allowance of just $125 per month were told his daily insulin injections would no longer be covered, because the type of insulin prescribed for his hard-to-control blood-sugar levels is not on a list of approved drugs. The man, who has a developmental handicap, leads an active life and is beloved by his community.
Another agency was told the province would no longer pay for an anti-seizure medication required by one of its residents.
And, if true, it's extremely disturbing.
Parker's name should be well-known to most Nova Scotians, or at least to those with any interest in politics. Which leads me to the one caveat I offer here; namely that, politics being what it is, I tend to be a mite bit cynical, not just of the party in power, but equally of those associated with the opposition. Because even those not holding the reins of power have a certain power, colloquially known as the power of "spin". Meaning that, fair or not, I tend to take anything I come across originating from anyone with a strong connection to any political party with at least a few grains of salt.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this - although on its face deeply disturbing, I have to at least allow for the possibility that there may be a more innocent explanation at play here, one that some would rather not be made public.
Then again, that being said, my true cynicism, based on years of hard fought experience, lies with government departments, particularly those of Education and Community Services, meaning I have trying real hard not to jump to the conclusion that I would be oh so happy to reach and at least allow for the possibility that all might not be exactly as it seems. I'm trying - it's just not that easy.
On another note, I see that Mr. Dunham has posted various DCS policy documents, which tend to be extremely difficult to access. The links will be up shortly in the sidebar under the heading "Services for Persons with Disabilities ... Policy Documents".
Just remember, though, that as so aptly pointed out by Mr. Dunham's post, government policies are often subject to change. Without. Any. Notice.
* When researching yesteray's post, I noted that the Department of Health and Wellness' (the new name for the Department of Health) Home Care Policy Manual is dated June 1, 2011. In a similar vein, I see that both the Services for Persons With Disabilities - Special Needs Policy and the Financial Eligibilty Policy are dated July 1, 2011 (yes, that's two days ago aka Canada Day). It would appear that, perhaps, our NDP government is on some sort of policy revision roll, to an extent that might not quite be accounted for by the various departmental changes made in the recent Government Administration Amendment (2011) Act(ch. 11 of the 2011 Statutes).