July 19th, 2023

Nova Scotians struggle to find primary health care, July waitlist numbers missing

HALIFAX – It’s been two years since the Houston government campaigned on the promise to fix health care, meanwhile thousands more Nova Scotians are struggling without a family doctor or primary care clinic than when the Conservatives promised to “fix healthcare” in the 2021 campaign.

“We know that too many Nova Scotians are stuck without the primary care they need,” said NDP Health spokesperson Susan Leblanc. “There are almost 150,000 people on the waitlist as of June 1, and the numbers for July are nowhere to be found. People want to know the state of things and this government is more worried about summer announcements than answering the tough questions about how people are supposed to get the care they need now.”

The Houston government announced a program last month that would give $10,000 to any doctor who accepted at least 50 new patients from the provincial Primary Care Waitlist.

“When this program was announced last month there were immediate concerns that doctors are already stretched thin and a cash incentive wouldn’t actually help. I’m curious to see the updated waitlist numbers to see what, if any, impact this program has had,” said Leblanc. “The Houston government likes to get headlines about doing more, faster but that doesn’t seem to translate into more Nova Scotians being permanently connected with a primary care clinic, which is what they need and what the NDP has been fighting for.”

The number of people on the provincial waitlist doubled in the two years the Houston government has been in power.