Nova Scotians have an even bigger hill to climb to get access to a family doctor after the province’s waitlist just surpassed 100,000 people. 

Nova Scotia’s official opposition, the NDP, blasted PC Premier Tim Houston for not acting to patch up the ailing healthcare system. 

“Neither the Houston Conservatives or the Liberals before them have been able to make a dent in making sure people have a primary care provider,” said NDP MLA Susan Leblanc. 

“While there have been some gains in hiring, that can only do so much when we see dozens of doctors retire or leave the province each year. There has to be a retention plan too.”

At the beginning of this month the Nova Scotia government revealed that 100,592 Nova Scotians were on the Family Practice Registry.

The waitlist was first made publicly available in 2018. Since then over 50,000 new names have been added to the waitlist. 

“We have seen that there are a number of physicians, as an example, who are preparing for retirement, and we know that people have gone on the list as a result of retirement, because they’re anticipating retirement,” said the province’s health minister Michelle Thompson. 

“I take the concerns people are feeling about access to health care very seriously. While there is no overnight solution to address the Need a Family Practice registry, I want to assure all Nova Scotians that we are working hard to recruit health-care professionals and improve access to primary health care.”

On the other hand around 2,700 people were taken off the list each month after they found a family physician. However, last month over 7,000 people were added to the registry. 

The news comes as Canada’s 13 premiers meet in British Columbia. Healthcare was a central issue during the meeting with all premiers agreeing that Canada’s healthcare system was in crisis. 

According to Houston no provinces are trying to “scrimp on a health-care budget and divert money somewhere else” but it’s the federal government that is refusing to cooperate to fix the issue. 

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