Critical care patients in the province may not be receiving “optimum care,” according to a new report.

The New Democrat party yesterday distributed a report on intensive care service in Nova Scotia by international consulting agency Corpus Sanchez. The report was completed on April 22.

A review of the province’s critical care systems or ICUs was conducted as a follow-up to the 384-page overall review of health care in Nova Scotia, tabled in mid-January.


The most recent report says the critical care system in the province is not working.

Because of the varying number of patients and complexity of cases at different facilities there are “perceived inequalities” in ICUs, it says.

The review looks at categorizing ICUs into different levels based on the flow of patients and complexity of cases and re-jigging the physician payment plan for ICU coverage so it takes into account the level of the ICU.

New Democrat Leader Darrell Dexter said yesterday the report’s findings are disconcerting.

“They point out that there aren’t consistent protocols across the province and the recommendations themselves actually say that they are worried about the impact on patient care,” he said.

“If that’s what the consultants find — and these are the consultants chosen by the government — then there’s cause for concern.”

The report recommends a complete overhaul of intensive care in Nova Scotia, saying it’s not working and some doctors in the system need to change their practices.

Health Minister Chris d’Entremont said the report is still in draft form and will be handed over to district health authorities in the province for further consideration.

The report suggests there is no critical care strategy in the province but d’Entremont disagreed.
“We have a system that responds to the critical care needs of Nova Scotians,” he said. He said he hopes to hear a response from district health authorities in the province about the review sometime this fall.