NDP Caucus launches website to collect stories from people without a family doctor

March 8, 2017

HALIFAX – The number of people without a family doctor has gone up as a result of Stephen McNeil’s failed policies on health care. Patrick Crosby is one of them.

Patrick Crosby’s doctor retires this spring.  He has been unable to find a new doctor in Dartmouth and is not sure what he will do once his doctor retires. The Health Authority has estimated that 30,000 people lack a family doctor in the Dartmouth region.

“I’ve been looking for a new doctor since January, when my current doctor told me he was retiring. No one in Dartmouth seems to be taking new patients,” said Crosby. “My wife and two kids have a different doctor, and even he can’t take me on as a patient.”

This morning, the NDP Caucus launched a new website where people like Crosby can share their stories and frustrations about the doctor shortage. Members of the public are encouraged to visit www.nsndpcaucus.ca to complete the survey and share their story.

There are over 100,000 people without a family doctor today – more than when Stephen McNeil took office in 2013. The Liberals promised a doctor for every Nova Scotian, but instead they moved bureaucrats around, created multiple phone numbers for people to call, and introduced a patchwork program of travelling physicians.

“Stephen McNeil and the Liberals have shown they can’t get the job done,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill.  “Our approach is different. Together, we can address the doctor shortage and provide primary health care for everyone by listening to local communities and health care providers, and by investing in our people’s health.”

Access to family doctors is a key component of improving health outcomes, according to Cape Breton doctor Dr. Monika Dutt.

“Lack of access to family doctors and other primary care, combined with issues such as low income, result in worse health outcomes,” said Dr. Dutt, a family physician with Health Providers Against Poverty Nova Scotia. “Addressing the need for family doctors is one important part of improving health across the province.”

“We want to hear from Nova Scotians about how the doctor shortage is affecting their lives.  Everyone has someone in their family, or knows a friend, who can’t access primary health care,” said Dave Wilson, NDP Health critic. “I encourage Nova Scotians to share their stories with us, and our caucus will make sure the issue gets the attention it deserves.”

The NDP Caucus will continue to raise the issue of the doctor shortage at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee today on physician services.

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For more information please contact Kaley Kennedy at (902) 229-6881 or at kaley.kennedy@novascotia.ca.