Baillie: Broken health system needs more doctors

May 03, 2017 at 10:17 am

Vision: More doctors, shorter wait times

A Jamie Baillie government will invest in physician recruitment and bring more doctors to Nova Scotia.

“Too many Nova Scotians don’t have a family doctor and they are afraid of what will happen if they get sick,” Baillie said.  “Stephen McNeil broke his election promise of a doctor for every Nova Scotian. People now wait longer for necessary treatment and some Nova Scotians have no access to health care at all.”

A Progressive Conservative government will take concrete action to ease the doctor shortage:

• Invest $13.5 million to bring more doctors to underserviced areas

• Double the tuition relief program to $6 million to keep new family doctors in Nova Scotia

• Credential recognition for Canadians who study medicine abroad

Murray Newell has been waiting nearly two years for his hip replacement surgery. His wife, Cindy, says because Murray’s health is rapidly deteriorating, the family is considering flying to Quebec so he can have his surgery done at a private clinic.

“Our health system is broken,” Cindy said. “It’s just not right that people have to suffer for months and months waiting to get necessary surgeries and other services.  More doctors would help relieve some of the pressure on the system.”

The Canadian Institute for Health Information benchmark wait time for hip and knee replacement surgeries is 182 days. According to CIHI data, 90 per cent of Nova Scotians wait 606 days for a hip replacement and 764 days for a knee replacement. Nova Scotia’s wait times are the worst of all the Canadian provinces.

“Too many families, like Cindy and Murray, feel desperate because the health system is failing them,” Baillie said. “The Progressive Conservative team understands how frightened and frustrated many Nova Scotians feel, and we will take real action to restore confidence in the system.”