Doctor wait list to increase with two doctors retiring in Kings-West

Having two doctors on the cusp of retirement has created concerns and anxiety among people in Kings-West says Kings West PC Candidate Chris Palmer.

Last month, the “Need a Family Doctor” registry announced that over 60,000 Nova Scotians were currently waiting for a primary healthcare provider. Over 7,000 are located in the Middleton to Berwick area as listed on the NSHA website.

Palmer says people are already struggling to access primary care and the looming retirement of two doctors will drive this number over 10,000.

“On doorstep after doorstep I hear from worried people concerned about healthcare, needing a doctor, surgery backlogs and EHS services. This is what keeps people in my community up at night,” says Palmer. “It’s gravely concerning that healthcare is the number one priority of Nova Scotians yet not the priority of our government.”

Aylesford resident Natalie Graves is one of those people. A mother of three, she is worried about where she will take her children if they are unwell when her doctor retires.

“Year after year there was a doctor shortage but we were one of the lucky ones. Now we are going on a list in our area with so many names already, we probably won’t ever get a doctor,” says Graves. “My children deserve a family doctor who knows them, not a doctor in an ER who is too busy.”

Palmer hosted a healthcare town hall in Aylesford in 2018 to allow healthcare professionals to discuss gaps, concerns and possible solutions going forward. He says local decision-making remains the biggest challenge.

Restoring local decision-making is one aspect of Tim Houston’s Hope for Health plan. It’s a practical plan for fixing the system and getting appropriate care for Nova Scotians, when and where they need it.

“After eight years of this government’s fix the symptom- not the crisis attitude, people are fed up,” says Palmer. “People deserve access to primary health care no matter where they live in Nova Scotia- period.”