Nova Scotians seeking more information about the state of their healthcare system now have access to several new reporting metrics the government has made public through the Action for Health web portal.
The new information includes vacancy rates for healthcare workers, the percentage of visits to emergency departments by people without a primary healthcare provider and how often ambulances are meeting target response times.
“Nova Scotians who need healthcare should feel confident they can get it when and where they need it,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “We have made big strides so far, but there is a lot more work to do. We want Nova Scotians to see the data so they can see improvement when it happens. We have a plan, we will do what it takes and we will watch the numbers closely. We will continue to be transparent so Nova Scotians can see and evaluate our work for themselves.”
Data is published quarterly at: https://novascotia.ca/actionforhealth/ . The latest update reflects the third quarter of 2022-23, from October 1 to December 31.
“Good data produces better results,” said Minister Thompson. “There is plenty of reason to expect to see these measurements improve over time and the data helps us better focus our resources to fix problems when they occur.”
The data shows targets for the home-care wait list and admissions to long-term care continue to be met. The number of people removed from the surgical wait list has been larger than the number of new patients added for three consecutive quarters, and the wait-times benchmark for urgent mental health services is being met more often. The number of registered nurses and nurse practitioners with new, active Nova Scotia licences has increased this year, and the net annual increase in the number of those healthcare professionals is also above the three-year average.
Action for Health, launched last April, is the government’s plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia. There is work underway and progress on all six of the plan’s broad solutions, and their individual action items have been updated. Other highlights from the third quarter include:
- launching a mobile primary healthcare clinic that travels to communities across the province, providing care to an average of 75-100 people per weekend
- creating a new $2-million fund that offers up to $100,000 to community groups and municipalities for projects to help recruit and retain healthcare professionals
- announcing advanced heart-care service will be added at Cape Breton Regional Hospital, eliminating the need for people to travel to Halifax for many life-saving procedures
- establishing the role of MD recruitment leads, with six doctors who meet with potential recruits to the province
- creating a new designated pathway to residency for 10 international medical graduates with ties to Nova Scotia who want to practise here.