18 Jun Media Release: 45,000 Nova Scotians do not have a Family Physician

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

45,000 Nova Scotians do not have a family doctor, action needed

Halifax, NS – A new report from Statistics Canada released today shows 45,000 Nova Scotians do not have access to a family physician.  This demonstrates the need for new measures to provide health care services to Nova Scotians in their communities, says the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network.

“As we started to say in the Spring, we need to use new strategies to ensure all Nova Scotian’s have access to a family physician,” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Health Network.  “We should be working to dramatically increase the number of nurse practitioners in the system, create community health centres and to bring stakeholders together to develop a detailed health human resources strategy.”

The Network’s local health committees know about the shortage of family physicians far too well.  The North Shore Citizens’ Health Committee, based in Tatamagouche, has been working for 4 months to try and convince the local District Health Authority to bring a nurse practitioner to the community to assist with keeping the ER open and allow physicians to take on more patients.

“The provincial government has a responsibility to ensure Nova Scotians have access to health care services in their communities,” says Buott.  “The Liberal Caucus proposed an excellent plan to train 100 physicians over the next 5 years by offering free tuition in exchange for service, the provincial government should look at this new study and affirm their commitment to providing health care services by implementing this plan.”

The Network will continue to work with its local committees, affiliated organizations and members across the province to press the government to bring in public sector solutions to the problems in the health care system.

“We have been suggesting proven solution to the problems in the heath care system.  Things like community health centres, nurse practitioners and better queue management” says Buott.  “The provincial government needs listen to citizens’ groups and start solving the problems.”

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For more information please contact:

Kyle Buott
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network
Work – (902) 406-9422
Cell – (902) 478-0239

About the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network:

Formed in 1996, the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network’s goal is to stop the privatization of the public health care system, ensure high levels of care, and create a forum for people and communities to discuss issues in health care.

The Network is a coalition of local health committees, community groups, organized labour, faith groups and individuals dedicated to protecting and advancing public health care to include services like pharmacare, dental care and long-term and home care.

The Network is political but non-partisan and receives no government funding.