PCs introduce plan to get healthcare professionals to work, faster

Our PC Government has introduced legislation to help get Nova Scotians better care, faster.

With the Patient Access to Care Act, new measures are being introduced to reduce administrative burdens on healthcare providers. This means more time with patients, and less time on paperwork. The bill also makes it easier for healthcare professionals from other parts of Canada to work in Nova Scotia.

“If we continue to do things the same way, we are going to keep getting the same results,” said Premier Tim Houston. “That is unacceptable for Nova Scotia, and that is unacceptable to me. The legislation introduced today includes things that should have been done a long time ago that will help Nova Scotians get the care they need faster.”

The Patient Access to Care Act includes measures to reduce paperwork, allowing healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care and support healthcare recruitment and retention efforts in Nova Scotia. Highlights of the act include:

  • licensing or registration criteria will be waived for healthcare providers coming from other parts of Canada, as needed and in accordance with Canadian free trade obligations
  • regulators cannot charge healthcare professionals licensed in other parts of Canada an application fee
  • applications must be processed within five business days
  • supports the creation of regulations that will apply the above provisions to non-Canadian jurisdictions
  • allows all regulators to recognize the credentials and licences of healthcare professionals trained outside Canada
  • ensures regulated healthcare professionals can work to their full training and allows expanded scope of practice through regulations rather than legislation
  • employers will only be able to request a sick note if an employee is absent for more than five days or has already had two absences of five days or less in the previous 12-month period
  • allows the government to prescribe Workers Compensation Board forms and documents to improve the process for Nova Scotians and doctors.

"Paperwork shouldn’t stand in the way of helping Nova Scotians get the care they need," said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. "When someone is sick, the last thing they should be thinking about is that they need to get a doctor’s note. It’s also the last thing a doctor needs to write, when they could be seeing a patient with more urgent care needs."