BILL NO. 265
1st Session, 64th General Assembly
1 Charles III, 2023
Private Member's Bill
Commission of Inquiry into Emergency Room Deaths Act
First Reading: March 22, 2023
WHEREAS 590 people died in Nova Scotia's emergency rooms in 2022;
AND WHEREAS the number and proportion of people dying in Nova Scotia's emergency rooms was higher in 2022 than in any other year in the past five years;
AND WHEREAS Nova Scotia's emergency rooms are under great strain and have been for several years;
AND WHEREAS the state of care in Nova Scotia's emergency rooms is having the effect of undermining public confidence in their ability to deliver timely care;
THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Commission of Inquiry into Emergency Room Deaths Act.
2 In this Act,
(a) "commission" means the commission of inquiry established under Section 3;
(b) "Minister" means the Minister of Health and Wellness.
3 Subject to Section 7, the Minister shall establish a commission of inquiry for the purpose of investigating the high number of emergency room deaths in the Province.
4 The commission has all the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner appointed under the Public Inquiries Act.
5 In carrying out its purpose under Section 3, the commission shall investigate and make recommendations respecting the state of emergency rooms in the Province, including
(a) staffing levels and vacancies;
(b) hospital patient flow;
(c) capital needs;
(d) the impact of closures;
(e) the impact of access to other levels of care;
(f) the potential need for new facilities;
(g) potential changes needed regarding working conditions for staff;
(h) inspection routines and standards;
(i) data gathering and reporting;
(j) funding levels; and
(k) any other matter the commission considers relevant.
6 The commission shall, not later than November 1, 2023,
(a) prepare and submit to the Minister a report containing the commission's findings and recommendations; and
(b) make the report public.
7 The money required for the purpose of this Act must be paid out of money appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.
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