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BILL NO. 265

(as introduced)

1st Session, 64th General Assembly
Nova Scotia
1 Charles III, 2023


Private Member's Bill


Commission of Inquiry into Emergency Room Deaths Act


Claudia Chender
Dartmouth South

First Reading: March 22, 2023

Second Reading:

Third Reading:


An Act to Establish a Commission of Inquiry
into Emergency Room Deaths

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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