The NDP turned the campaign focus to health care Thursday, kicking off a debate about who actually has a plan.

NDP Leader Darrell Dexter promised $2.3 million towards keeping emergency rooms open.

The announcement involves appointing an Emergency Care Adviser. The job, with a $100,000 annual salary, would involve keeping track of emergency rooms across the province to prevent unnecessary closures.


“This is an action-oriented plan. This person would actually be in charge of coordinating resources across the province,” Dexter said.

Dexter said emergency rooms across the province have different systems and optimizing them will save money by preventing needless transfers.

But while the NDP say the position would fix a lack of Tory planning, the Conservatives ridiculed the move. Dartmouth South-Portland Valley Conservative candidate George Jordan attacked the NDP for having no plan.

“This man is proposing to hire a planner to make a plan. Which says to me if you have to hire someone to make a plan you haven’t got a plan,” Jordan said.

When asked what the Tory plan was to reduce emergency room closures, he couldn’t answer. Instead Jordan said the Tories will run on their record and have been “responsive to the needs of the medical system.”

When one reporter said that emergency rooms continue to close, Jordan replied “Well, Mr. Dexter doesn’t have a plan and that’s what I’m here to talk about today.”

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said he hadn’t yet seen the NDP promise, but his party would be making their own health care announcement.

He did take one shot, saying it “won’t be about hiring another co-ordinator. That’s not what Nova Scotians are looking for.”

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