Newfoundland and Labrador 2019 provincial election

Responses from the Electoral Candidates
Responses are arranged according to the date we received them. The first response received in each party appears at the top of that section.

New Democratic Party of Newfoundland and Labrador individual candidate responses

Tomás Shea – candidate for Windsor Lake

Date: May 13, 2019, 8:38AM PDT
Subject: re: Arthritis Consumer Experts Survey for Newfoundland and Labrador 2019 – Arthritis in NL
From: Tomás Shea


Hello Cheryl, I'm sorry for my delayed response but I have received a lot of questionnaires and feedback from people and groups during this election and as I am new to this political hustle and bustle I appear to be a bit slower than other politicians (I believe it's because I allow myself time to think a little more). All the same, I want to thank you for reaching out to Candidates such as myself about the priorities of your organization and it's members, and I hope you find satisfaction in my answers to your queries below. Further to that I strongly urge your organization and it's members to engage your politicians after they have been elected to ensure they continue to keep your priorities in mind.
  1. What will your government do to bring a high quality, standardized evidence-based model of arthritis care for all Newfoundland and Labrador residents?
    - Our government, if elected, has already committed to investing and improving healthcare is needed in our province. Something interesting with healthcare is that it is a field that is constantly evolving as we learn better ways to treat, reduce and prevent illnesses. In our province, the education of our health care workers is a legislated requirement as part of our various union agreements, and this education has generally been done in areas that government has been encouraged to research i.e. cancer, diabetes, etc. If elected our government will make it part of our agenda to make sure arthritis and specifically standardized evidence-based arthritis care is an education topic. Further to educating existing health care workers we also plan to fix the staff shortage issues that plague our healthcare system and hopefully in doing so allow residents outside of the metro area access to the to appropriate arthritis care.
  2. What will your government do to introduce patient education and exercise programs, such as GLA:D, that have been proven to significantly reduce hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms?
    - As mentioned above hopefully through our investment in healthcare and education of healthcare workers we will be able to ensure they are able to identify and assess Osteoarthritis more readily and be able to educate people and provide them the appropriate resources and exercise programs so as to prevent the worsening of the condition and from requiring further treatment and therapies in the future.
  3. What will your government do to improve the uptake of biosimilars and increase accessibility to life-saving medications and reduce out-of-pocket costs for Newfoundland and Labrador residents living with inflammatory arthritis?
    - Our government has made it part of our platform to make prescriptions more affordable. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should be able to afford the medication they need regardless of age or income. The NL NDP will continue to advocate for a national pharmacare program and review provincial programs to raise income ceilings and reduce client contributions.
  4. What will your government do to improve the healthcare and lives of Aboriginals living with arthritis in Newfoundland and Labrador?
    - Our government, if elected, will invest in healthcare throughout our province. Staff shortages and the availability of care is one of the main reasons Aboriginals living in our province do not get the care they need. We will address these shortages and put health care professionals in place so that the needs of our Aboriginal population are addressed.
  5. How will your government establish better prevention programs and facilitate flexible work arrangements to help reduce the direct and indirect costs of arthritis to Newfoundland and Labrador employers and the Newfoundland and Labrador economy?
    - As mentioned above through the education of our healthcare professionals they will be able to better assist and advise those living with arthritis on the appropriate resources and exercise programs so as to prevent the worsening of the condition. This will allow those with arthritis to re-enter the labour force and continue to work without long term costs and issues. In addition to this, the NDP has also made a committed to making the workplace more inclusive by working with the disability community/groups to bring in legislation to remove barriers and enforce rights. Doing all this will reduce the long term strain on our healthcare system and save the province, and employers money and lost time.
  6. Will your government take steps to increase the number of rheumatologists and trained arthritis professionals to ensure timely, specialized care for Newfoundland and Labrador patients with arthritis?
    - Yes
Thank you once again for reaching out to me on these issues and I hope to hear from you again in the future,

Tomás Shea

NDP Candidate - Windsor Lake District