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N.S. facing wave of physician retirements as wait-list for primary care remains high

HALIFAX — The former head of the association representing Nova Scotia physicians says doctors are facing extreme burnout amid a labour shortage that risks worsening with a looming wave of retirements. 

Dr. Leisha Hawker, former head of Doctors Nova Scotia, says family physicians are being regularly asked to take on more patients despite already struggling to provide timely care to their existing roster.

Hawker told a legislative committee today that about one-quarter of family physicians in the province are aged 60 and older and may be considering retirement.

As the province’s doctors age, so do their patients, which Hawker says increases the complexity of care.

She says stress among family doctors is at an “all-time high,” as more than 156,000 people are on the provincial wait list for primary care.

As of March 4, there were 213 physician vacancy job postings in Nova Scotia and 129 of them were in family medicine. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024.

The Canadian Press


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