New numbers show doctor shortage getting worse in Nova Scotia

March 23, 2017

For Immediate Release

HALIFAX – Stephen McNeil is not being upfront about the extent of the doctor shortage in Nova Scotia.  New data released by Statistics Canada yesterday shows 106,550 people in Nova Scotia, 11.3 per cent of the population, do not have access to a family doctor – much higher than the 25,000 people McNeil claims do not have a doctor.

“There are more people without a doctor today than when Stephen McNeil took office,” said NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson. “The Premier would rather downplay the numbers than keep his promise to provide a doctor for every Nova Scotian.”

Over the past several months, there have been multiple reports of communities being denied doctors as the Liberal government figures out how to roll out collaborative health teams.

Earlier this month, a couple from Hammonds Plains came forward with their story about how their plan to bring a doctor to their pharmacy was stopped by the government. The NDP Caucus has also heard a report that the Liberal government is refusing to allow a doctor to staff a built-in clinic at Parkland Lakes nursing home.

Yesterday, Doctors Nova Scotia called on the province to allow doctors into communities that need them and then focus on integrating those doctors into collaborative centres.

“The Premier had no trouble with the complicated exercise of amalgamating local health authorities, but when it comes to a problem that actually impacts people’s health, he’s hasn’t acted with the same priority and focus,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “When the NDP established collaborative emergency centres, we listened to communities and health care workers, sought the best available advice, and then we got to work. That’s what the Liberals need to do now on the doctor shortage.”

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