December reporting: Need A Family Practice Waitlist

As of December 1st, 148,512 Nova Scotians were on the Need A Family Practice Waitlist. That’s up by 2,061 people from the month before. (More than 1500 of those new people on the wait list live in the Central Zone.)

When 72,000 people were on the waitlist, the current premier said it was a crisis. He called it a failure of leadership. There are now *twice* as many people on the waitlist as when he took over.

It’s important to note 54.4 percent of those who are on the list are there because their health care provider has moved or closed their practice, retired, or is retiring. While the health authority likes to say these numbers are high because of all of people moving to N.S., the truth is only 34.7 percent are new to the area — and they could have moved from elsewhere in N.S. (This is a trend, though — a growing trend — and this government wants to double our population. They need to ensure the services needed by Nova Scotians are available to them. So far, we don’t have enough housing, our schools are jammed, people cannot find a family practice, and we all can see the traffic.)

You can also find the Fraser Institute’s report, “Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2023” here.

Nova Scotia recorded the longest wait time in the country faced by patients across 12 medical specialties (from referral by GP to treatment).

I’ve previously shared information about their elimination of the retention bonus for doctors in the Central Zone and the effect that has had on waitlists here. Paul Schneidereit at the Herald wrote an excellent article on it, you can read it here.

We ended 2023 with nearly as many people in Central Zone on the waitlist as there were on the list for the *entire province* when this government took over. The government is not moving adequately to ensure people in Central Zone are connected to family practices.