Progressive Conservative Healthcare critic Karla MacFarlane says the people of Pictou County are suffering because of the family doctor shortage. The MLA for Pictou West says Minister Delorey must do more to recruit and retain doctors.
MacFarlane was disappointed to learn that the northern zone in Nova Scotia saw an increase in number of people on the wait list for a family doctor. Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou counties saw a 4.3 per cent increase in the number of people on the list between November 1 and December 1 of this year.
“I’m frustrated that 312 people were added to the list who need a family doctor,“ says MacFarlne. “I would like to remind Minister Delorey and the Nova Scotia Health Authority that this list only accounts for people who have signed up to be on the list. We know that the number of Nova Scotians without a family doctor is much higher.”
MacFarlane wonders what the Liberal government and the health authority under Ms. Janet Knox are doing do recruit and retain family physicians. She notes that these are not just statistics, they represent real people who have limited access to primary health care and who have nowhere to turn if they become ill.
“When a doctor leaves Pictou County, does the health authority conduct exit interviews?” asks MacFarlane. “If they do, will they release that information? I think it would be very valuable to the community to know that information. We know that doctors recruit doctors, are they being consulted on a regular basis?”