Reducing hip and knee replacement wait times

Budget 2019-2020, our fourth balanced budget in a row, makes major investments in health care, education, supports for our people and communities, and the economy.

Your Liberal Government has continued to work hard to stabilize the province’s finances, all while investing in the services Nova Scotians need, cutting income taxes, and introducing new programs like Pre-Primary. Our plan is working. More Nova Scotians are employed than ever before, Nova Scotia has our highest population on record, and we have the lowest unemployment in our history.

More hip and knee replacement surgeries will be performed this year, with an increased orthopedic services budget of $2.2 million and 4 new orthopedic surgeons that were hired last year. $39 million has been invested over the past 3 years to increase surgeries and decrease wait times. While there is still more work to do, these investments in Budget 2019-2020 will make an impact for patients across Nova Scotia.Here are some of the new investments in Budget 2019-2020:

Health Care

Health care spending will increase $271 million, from $4.37 billion to $4.64 billion. This additional funding will be used to:

  • Open 15 new residency spaces for specialists and 10 new family practice residency seats at Dalhousie University Medical School
  • Further develop collaborative care teams to make it easier for Nova Scotians to see a doctor or other primary care clinician
  • Support doctor recruitment in communities across Nova Scotia.Reduce wait times for hip and knee replacement surgeries
  • Improve long term care, including wound care and staffing
  • Add more home care supports
  • Increase mental health supports, including the adolescent outreach program
  • Fund more ambulance services


Education spending will increase again this year to $1.43 billion, up $260 million from the 2013-2014 budget. Additional funding this year will be used to:

  • Continue the expansion of pre-primary classes across Nova Scotia
  • Implement the recommendations of the Commission on Inclusive Education
  • Maintain smaller classroom sizes
  • Support the Reading Recovery program
  • Follow the recommendations of the Council on Classroom Conditions

Growing the Economy

Nova Scotia has reached a record population; we have more people working than every before, and our unemployment rate is the lowest on record. Budget 2019-2020 continues to build on this success by:

  • Doubling the Innovation Rebate Program
  • Investing in business incubators and accelerators
  • Encouraging venture capital investment
  • Helping our companies remain competitive through the accelerated capital cost allowance tax incentive
  • Supporting export development programs
  • Promoting our fish and seafood exports
  • Revitalizing our provincial tourism icons
  • Investing in the Vineyard and Wineries Investment Program

Supports for our People and Communities

Government is investing is our communities and supports for those in need by:

  • Implementing the Standard Household Rate which will see income assistance rates increase
  • Renovating public housing units
  • Creating 1,500 new rent supplements, over three years, to reduce the public housing waitlist
  • Increasing programs that support children and adults with disabilities
  • Improving accessibility programs and supports
  • Supporting the respite co-ordination program
  • Investing in the Poverty Reduction Blueprint
  • Helping to prevent domestic violence
  • Exempting child maintenance payments from income assistance calculations

Read the full budget documents.

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