Liberals need to make doctor recruitment, retention a priority

Pictou-Advocate-opinion

To the Editor:

I wish to thank everyone who attended the public rally that took place at Summer Street Industries to discuss problems with access to health care and doctor shortages in Pictou County.

In particular, I wish to thank those who were courageous enough to share their personal stories about the health issues they are experiencing without the guidance, reassurance and continuity that a family doctor provides.

This past week we learned that Nova Scotia will soon be hiring 22 nurse practitioners and family practice nurses, four of which will serve the New Glasgow, Westville, Stellarton and Truro areas. While the government says this will allow 2,400 more people to have access to primary health care, I have my doubts.

Perhaps it will help alleviate some of the strain on our ER and walk-in clinic, however, the urgency remains for at least two more primary healthcare family doctors in Pictou County.

One is necessary to take on Doctor Ibrahaim’s patients and one is needed for the Pictou medical clinic.

I urge the Liberal Government to make doctor recruitment and retention a priority and to remember that more doctors in rural Nova Scotia is the long term solution to the health care crisis that we currently find ourselves in.

Karla MacFarlane
MLA, Pictou West