“Hey MLAs: don’t cut health promotion” was the message from 21 health groups at a press conference in Halifax yesterday.
As provincial politicians prepare for another session at the legislature on Oct. 28, a band of health-promoting siblings want to make sure health promotion dollars aren’t cut from the budget.
“This message is investments in health promotion are investments in the health of Nova Scotians and in the sustainability of Nova Scotia’s health system,” said Menna MacIsaac, with Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia.
And almost everyone in the province agrees with her, according to survey data MacIsaac pulled out.
Ninety per cent of HRM and Cape Breton residents in the survey said they support directing more money towards promotion, even if it means diverting funds. Being healthy starts long before a trip to the doctor’s office, said Jane Brooks, a family doctor and president of Doctors Nova Scotia.
“I often remind my patients we can prevent many diseases and slow certain disease advancements by choosing a healthy lifestyle,” she said, adding obesity is one of the biggest health issues in the province right now.
“But, unfortunately, I usually only see people when they’re already having health issues.”
Brooks added we need to prevent diseases instead of treating them, and when that happens, the strain on health care workers will ease.