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Why we’re Celebrating the Family Doctors Nova Scotia does have – and so should you

It’s Family Doctor Week across Canada – a chance to celebrate the work and dedication of these unsung heroes of our health-care system.It’s no secret that Nova Scotia is struggling to attract and retain doctors, and that many people sit on a wait list hoping to be welcomed into a family practice. It’s a difficult situation and one we’re trying to fix.

However, we also know that there are 1,300 family doctors in Nova Scotia right now who make a difference in the lives of their patients every day. Over 960 work as family doctors, while the rest care for patients in other ways, such as working in emergency departments or providing palliative care.

Cornerstones of patient care

No matter the stresses they face in the health-care system, family doctors put patients first.

They take care of our sick children. They help us manage our stress. They treat our chronic disease. They guide us through addiction and into recovery. They heal our wounds, refer us to specialists and sometimes care for us in our own homes. They see us in the hospital, volunteer in our communities and help ensure we’re cared for as we die.

Cornerstones of our health-care system

Family doctors also advocate on their patients’ behalf and work with the government to ensure that Nova Scotians receive the best care possible.

During national Family Doctor Week, we should all take a moment to celebrate the family doctors that live and work in Nova Scotia. Have your say – join hundreds of Nova Scotians and tell us why your doctor is worth celebrating.

Time for action

We need more family doctors practising in Nova Scotia. There are more than 59,000 Nova Scotians on a wait list for a family doctor.

It’s time for all health-care stakeholders to come together and create a comprehensive physician recruitment and retention strategy to get more family doctors working in the province.

That’s one of the recommendations from Doctors Nova Scotia’s (DNS) report, Healing Nova Scotia: Recommendations for a thriving physician workforce. And, it’s the best way to ensure that all Nova Scotians get the health care they need and deserve.

Want to recognize your family doctor? Share your story and tell us why you’re celebrating your doctor.