Healthcare in Nova Scotia

This page shows some of the things the Province is doing to improve healthcare here in the Bedford constituency and across Nova Scotia.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Nova Scotia has the highest number of doctors per capita in the country. We also have one of the best records of connecting patients with care providers — only three provinces do better. I am sharing these statistics with you to provide context; most jurisdictions that provide socialized medicine are grappling with doctor recruitment and retention at this time.

For more information on recruitment, please see:

Primary Care and other Healthcare Providers

The government worked with Doctors Nova Scotia to create a $39.6 million dollar package for family doctors to pay them more. The package also includes incentives help patients find a primary care provider – and come off the 811 Find a Family Practice registry.

We added more residency spaces to train more doctors each year (10 more for family medicine, 15 more for specialist seats). Nova Scotia is the only province in the country to increase residencies.

We removed geographic restrictions on the Tuition Relief Program, the Family Medicine Bursary and the Debt Assistance Plan to support recruitment of family doctors to urban communities like Bedford. Previously, the programs were available to doctors in rural areas only.

We added 25 new seats at Dalhousie University over the next two years to train more nurse practitioners.

We’re also adding a new nurse practitioner education incentive to cover the salaries of up to 10 registered nurses while they take Dal’s two-year Master of Nursing nurse practitioner program. In return, the new NPs will work in a designated community for 5 years.

The Department of Health and Wellness, the NS College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the Medical Council of Canada and Dalhousie University Department of Family Medicine all collaborated to create a new Practice Ready Assessment Program to help internationally trained doctors work here. The College is now accepting applications.

We created a new physician immigration stream to help bring more trained physicians to the province.

This summer, we launched a bursary program for students in the Continuing Care program at NSCC.


The design contract for the expansion of the Emergency Department at the IWK was awarded July 30th:

We’re expanding dialysis units in Metro.

The Outpatient Centre in Bayers Lake is part of the QEII redevelopment. The entire project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the way health care is delivered to Nova Scotians

The QEII redevelopment also includes: the expansion of the Halifax Infirmary, the Dartmouth General Hospital and the QEII Cancer Centre; a new Outpatient Centre at the Halifax Infirmary; new and renovated operating rooms at the Hants Community Hospital in Windsor (this project is complete); and the first hospice residence in Halifax which opened in April.

Homecare and Long-term Care

We’ve also reduced the wait list for home care significantly – very few people are waiting.

We’ve expanded the Caregiver Benefit Program, which provides $400 per month for caregivers. More than 850 new people enrolled in the program between March and December last year.

We’ve cut the waitlist for long-term care since taking office.

We’re acting on all recommendations of an expert advisory panel to improve the quality of care in long-term care homes.

Mental Health and Addictions

We’ve expanded the SchoolsPlus program to all schools across Nova Scotia as part of our drive to improve mental health.

We expanded the CaperBase model for youth mental health outreach – 4,000 young people accessed the program in the first three months of the expansion.

We’re piloting 4 new youth health centres as advised by experts.

Our investments have cut the waitlist for opioid addiction treatment by 90%

We’ve distributed roughly 7,000 naloxone kits to Nova Scotians in the last 3 years. More than 115 overdose reversals have been reported as a result.