February 13th, 2023

Thousands of families remain without primary care as Houston delays monthly waitlist

MAHONE BAY – Each month the number of Nova Scotians who don’t have a family doctor continues to grow. The Houston government has delayed the release of the Primary Care Waitlist this month. In January nearly 130,000 people were on the list, with 9,700 or 16 percent of people on the South Shore looking for care.

“Each month thousands more people find themselves without a family doctor and don’t know where to turn when their kids, elderly parents, or they themselves need help,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “Here on the South Shore 16 percent of people are on the list and that number keeps growing. The lack of primary care is the root of the health care crisis. We have to find new ways to ensure people can see a doctor or nurse practitioner when they need one and that they are connected to long term.”

The waitlist for primary care has increased by 43,000 people in the last 12 months.

Prince Edward Island is modernizing how Islanders access primary health care by building patient medical homes across the Island, a team-based care model. The Houston government needs to prioritize a shift to collaborative care clinics and expand on the success of CECs (collaborative emergency clinics) to ensure more Nova Scotians have access to the care they need, now.

“When rural ERs were closing and people didn’t know how to get the emergency care they needed, New Democrats implemented CECs that gave local communities consistent access to overnight emergency care, and same-day or next-day primary care,” said NDP Health spokesperson Susan Leblanc. “We need serious action from the Houston government to make sure that people have the primary care home they need.”

Chender, Leblanc, and the NDP Caucus are in Mahone Bay today for stakeholder and Caucus meetings.