Adult and child looking at a computer screen with a Doctor on it

Accessing health care in our community

Health care can be challenging to access over the summer months when so many people are on holiday. I wanted to make sure you knew what some of the options for accessing health care are during July and August – whether you have a family doctor, nurse practitioner, or are still waiting for one.

Mobile Clinics:

In recent months, the Health Authority added a mobile clinic at the Cobequid Health Centre to help serve patients (who may or may not have a family practitioner) with minor ailments not requiring emergency service. The past few months, the clinic has been running Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:20 p.m.

I recently asked our caucus office to reach out to the Department of Health because no summer dates had been announced for the clinic. After the Department initially responded they could not confirm summer service, the Health Authority announced service will continue on weekends in July and August. For more information, you can visit the NS Health website here.

Virtual Care:

VirtualCareNS provides Nova Scotians on the Need a Family Practice Registry with free online visits with a primary care provider (doctor or nurse practitioner) until they find a permanent family practice. If you’re on the Need A Family Practice waitlist, you can sign up for virtual care here.

Please note: it may take up to 10 business days after you register for your access to VirtualCareNS to be activated. There are a limited number of appointments every day, so if you can, it’s best to start calling early.


I’m pleased to see the government continuing the work we did to expand access at pharmacies. Some pharmacies (for example, the Guardian at the corner of Southgate Drive and Larry Uteck, or the Brookline Pharmasave at Bloom Terrace) are Community Pharmacy Primary Care Clinics.

They can help you with:

  • Assessing and Prescribing for Prescription Renewals
  • Chronic Disease Care – Heart Disease
  • Chronic Disease Care – Lung Conditions (Asthma and COPD)
  • Chronic Disease Care – Diabetes
  • Common & Minor Ailments
  • Anticoagulation Management for Warfarin Patients (CPAMS)
  • Assessment for Prescribing Birth Control
  • Shingles Treatment
  • Lyme Disease Prevention
  • Uncomplicated Bladder Infections
  • Sore Throat including Strep Throat
  • Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • Immunization and Injection Services

To make an appointment at one of these pharmacies, please go to Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia website.

Other pharmacies, including the Lawtons at Mill Cove, feature Pharmacist Walk-in Clinics staffed by pharmacists and (at times) nurse practitioners. They’re able to see patients for a variety of non-emergency conditions, including many of those noted above.

Nova Scotia Health has agreed to provide a designated nurse practitioner for a limited number of hours per week. The pharmacists and the NPs work together to support the health care needs of unattached patients.

The Lawtons Clinic is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon until 5 p.m. At this time, appointments are not required; you can contact them at (902) 835-6135 for more information.