Government & Policy
NS dashboard shows numbers waiting for family doc
April 26, 2023
HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia government is releasing more health data to the public and changing how it shares data about how many people need a family doctor or nurse practitioner. The waitlist, which is officially called the “Need a Family Practice Registry,” will be part of an online dashboard instead of a monthly report.
The province says the dashboard will also show other data including total visits to VirtualCareNS, mobile primary care clinics, Nova Scotia Health’s primary care clinics as well as total visits to urgent treatment centres and urgent care centres.
As of April 1, there were more than 142,000 Nova Scotians on the wait list for a family doctor or nurse practitioner. That’s up sharply from 116,000 last October.
Nova Scotia’s health minister Michelle Thompson (pictured) says the online reporting will make the information more available to the public. “Nova Scotians want and deserve to see the whole picture when it comes to accessing primary care options,” said Thompson.
“This new data will help Nova Scotians see there are many ways to get the care they need, when and where they need it.”
The province is also providing more details about the Need a Family Practice Registry.
The dashboard will break down the data to show how many people in each health zone are on the list, the reason why and other details such as how many people on the list have access to primary care clinics or VirtualCareNS.
Liberal MLA Braedon Clark said nothing announced Friday will make a real difference for the 142,000 people in Nova Scotia that don’t have a family doctor.
“That number has doubled in the last year and a half since this government was elected and in certain parts of our province it’s gotten even worse,” Clark said, adding that in his area of Bedford and Hammonds Plains it’s up 350 percent in a year and a half.
“Having more information out there is a good thing. We would never say that it isn’t, but the information is not reassuring,” Clark said.