July 26th, 2022

Families can’t find primary care because of Houston’s failure to improve access

HALIFAX – Tim Houston’s lack of progress on health care means more families can’t get the primary care they need as the waitlist for a doctor has ballooned to over 100,000 people under the Premier’s watch.

Spencer Thomas’ family is one of the thousands of families that has been stuck on the waitlist for months. Recently his four-year-old daughter became ill and after trying multiple walk-in clinics they were unable to get the care she needed.

“It shouldn’t be this hard to get care for my family. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was when we needed a doctor. When you have a young child who isn’t feeling well it’s terrible to have so few options,” said Thomas. “We thought it was chicken pox and without being able to see a doctor gave her medicine and put cream on her rash, but even those were hard to find because of supply issues at the pharmacy. In the end we all got sick and it turned out to be hand, foot, and mouth disease, which we only found out because I was able to get into a walk-in clinic on a trip to Ontario.”

In the 11 months since the Houston government came to power, access to health care has gotten worse with the addition of more than 25,000 people to the primary care waitlist. Houston’s lack of progress on health care means that more people are leaving the ER without being seen, and emergency departments across the province are bursting at the seams.

“The Premier’s choices over the last few months have not made the impact needed to make sure that people get the health care they deserve,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “When 1 in 10 Nova Scotians don’t have a family doctor, and they can’t get into walk-in clinics, and are avoiding ERs because of long waits, this is the real emergency that needs serious action now.”

The Nova Scotia NDP will table legislation today that would require the government to create a plan to open collaborative care clinics across the province.