News Release Archive

Dr. Richard MacLachlan, head of the family medicine department at
Dalhousie University's Medical School, will investigate
allegations by a physician that health care cuts have led to
patient deaths in Glace Bay, Health Minister Bernie Boudreau
announced today.

"To suggest that 45 to 50 patients have died in Glace Bay -- or
in any community in Nova Scotia -- as a result of health care
funding reductions is a very serious allegation which needs to be
addressed immediately," said Mr. Boudreau.

The claim was made by Dr. Michael Gallivan at a news conference
earlier this week.

Dr. MacLachlan travels to Glace Bay today to begin his
investigation. He has been asked to submit a report to the health
minister by the end of June. The report will be made public,
except those areas requiring patient confidentiality. Appropriate
action will be taken following the review, said Mr. Boudreau.

"I find it astonishing that Dr. Gallivan would make such a claim
at a news conference without ever having highlighted these
concerns to the appropriate authorities through the appropriate
channels," said Mr. Boudreau.

"Officials at the Cape Breton Healthcare Complex have no record
of any reports by Dr. Gallivan about these deaths. And neither
did Dr. Gallivan make any such reports to the Department of
Health or to me, the minister of health."

Dr. MacLachlan is also chair of the committee on ethics of the
College of Family Physicians of Canada and was vice-president,
medical, of the Camp Hill Medical Centre for five years.


Contact: Lori MacLean
         Department of Health

trp                       May 23, 1997 - 10:50 a.m.