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Data reveals healthcare professional shortage in N.S.

By Kevin Northup Jan 31, 2024 | 12:27 PM

Nova Scotia is short over 1,000 healthcare professionals.

New information from the Nova Scotia General Employees Union says the number of vacancies has increased almost 198 per cent since 2019.

First vice-president Hugh Gillis says the government needs to act.

“We believe it has to do with working conditions here in Nova Scotia. It’s simply not an attractive place for these highly-skilled individuals,” said Gillis.

The NSGEU got the data through a Freedom of Information Request from Nova Scotia Health.

“We want to remind government that healthcare isn’t just doctors and nurses. It takes a team of highly-skilled professionals to make the system function properly,” added Gillis.

The specialized positions include x-ray technologists, perfusionists, occupational therapists and many more.
Province responds:

Nova Scotia Health says we are in a challenging situation when it comes to the health workforce.

Sarah Levy-MacLeod with the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment says there are vacancies, and frontline workers are feeling it.

She says it’s not just a problem in Nova Scotia, and development is a priority in the Action for Health plan

Levy-MacLeod adds they’re taking on a wide-range of initiatives related to recruitment and retention, and training more workers in colleges and universities.