Doctor recruitment and retention is a top priority for the Rankin government. In 2021, our government committed $12.2 million for physician training at Dalhousie Medical School, including an additional $1.2 million to continue funding 16 new seats for a total of $2.7 million this year. This investment expands access to medical training and increases the diversity of our physician workforce by providing spaces for rural Nova Scotians, Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian students.
We are training more family doctors by committing $300,000 annually to fund a new cohort of 10 family medicine residents each year, a total investment of $2.7 million in 2021. Investments for specialty residence placements increased by $2 million, for a combined total of $6.8 million this year.
Signing a new master agreement with doctors ensured that our family physicians, emergency doctors and anesthetists are the highest paid in Atlantic Canada. Our government is investing an additional $135 million to provide our doctors with a 2% increase over each of the next four years.
We have been successful in attracting and recruiting internationally trained physicians to our province – however, we know there is more work to do. While steady progress had been made, the COVID-19 pandemic presented significant challenges recruiting physicians from outside of Canada. Despite this, our Government recruited over 80 new physicians who will begin working in Nova Scotia this summer.
We are committed to a broad strategy that trains, recruits and retains, physicians and will lead to increased patient attachment.
Investing doesn’t just involve money and infrastructure; we must invest in our people. That’s why the Rankin government will modernize our public health care system to create a welcoming, compassionate, competitive, and innovative environment to practice medicine. We will do so through increased collaboration and engagement, and by investing in healthy and vibrant communities of practice throughout the province.