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NS Invests $6.3M in Dal Family Medicine Clinics and Doctor Retention

By Evan Taylor Oct 12, 2022 | 1:43 PM

Premier Tim Houston tours the Dalhousie Family Medical Clinic with Dr. Joanna Zed ,Medical Director, Dalhousie family medicine. Photo: NS Government

Premier Tim Houston announced on Wednesday that the province is spending an additional $6.3 million in programs aimed at retaining doctors trained in Nova Scotia and improving care for Nova Scotians.

The new funding will build on the success of a unique partnership between Dalhousie family medicine clinics and Nova Scotia Health, which has helped hundreds of people without a family doctor receive faster care from the appropriate providers.

“Improving healthcare is the most pressing issue for Nova Scotians,” said Premier Tim Houston. “We need new ideas to fix long-standing issues and to help better recruit and retain healthcare professionals so that Nova Scotians can access the care they need.”

The program allows recent graduates and doctors new to Nova Scotia to establish practices, starting at Dalhousie family medicine clinics where they will gain experience working alongside other care providers, including licensed practical nurses, family practice nurses, social workers, pharmacists, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists.

The province says a large number of doctors have indicated they prefer to start their practices at Dalhousie facilities due to the abundance of support available.

Following their time working with Dalhousie family medicine clinics, doctors will be supported in transitioning to their own practice and will maintain their roster of patients.

Dalhousie currently has family medicine clinics in Spryfield and on Mumford Road, where these opportunities are available.

Prior to the expansion of the program, it has already helped 780 Nova Scotians find family doctors. With the new funding the province hopes that around 3,500 more Nova Scotians currently on waitlists will find their family doctors utilizing this method.

I’m so relieved to finally have a family doctor for me, and for my wife and children. I was able to share our health history with a nurse over the phone. This saved us from needing to go in and sit in a waiting room, or to meet with a doctor only to share this same information. Things can be super busy with two small children. This saved us time and trouble, which we obviously welcomed.

— Michael MacDonald, new patient, Dalhousie Family Medicine Clinic

The funding also provides new doctors with valuable mentorship opportunities, as well as administrative support when bringing on new patients so they can focus on responding to patient needs.





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