News Release Archive

  Another important step has been taken to encourage physicians
  to set up practices in Nova Scotia.

  The committee conducting a province-wide review of communities
  has designated 17 areas as immediately eligible for incentive
  packages to attract physicians.

  "Attracting physicians to rural and remote communities is a
  priority," said Health Minister Ron Stewart. "These communities
  now have the tools to attract physicians, and to keep them.
  Bringing quality health care to communities across the province
  is health reform in action."

  The list of communities was drawn up by the joint management
  committee, the Department of Health - Medical Society of Nova
  Scotia committee overseeing the physicians agreement signed in
  March 1995.

  Specific guidelines were followed to determine which
  communities were the most seriously under-serviced. The committee
  considered the area's history of recruitment, the medical needs
  of the population and the number of physicians already working
  there as part of the selection process.

  "Our expectation is that the incentive package will attract
  physicians interested in a rural practice lifestyle," said Dr.
  LeRoy Heffernan, president of the Medical Society of Nova
  Scotia. "The package provides much needed assistance to physicians
  currently practising in such communities. These physicians have
  faced extremely long working hours, little free time and
  limited opportunities for continuing education because of a
  shortage of colleagues."

  The communities selected for the incentive package are:
  Arichat, Bass River, Caledonia, Canso, Freeport, Inverness area,
  Kennetcook/Noel Shore, L'Ardoise, Little Brook, Meteghan,
  Middle Musquodoboit, Oxford, Pubnico, Stewiacke, St. Peter's, Tusket
  and Weymouth.

  The groundbreaking agreement reached in March between the
  department and the medical society established the framework
  for the incentive package available to physicians interested in
  practising in rural and remote areas.

  Recruiting physicians to communities across Nova Scotia is an
  ongoing process.

  All areas of the province are being studied by the new
  physician recruiter, hired jointly by the department of health and the
  society. Since his appointment Sept. 1, Frank Peters has been
  examining the situation in a number of Nova Scotia communities.
  Mr. Peters has been fielding phone calls from physicians across
  Canada and the United States, and from England, Ireland,
  France, Italy, South Africa and Saudi Arabia who are interested in
  finding out more about practising in the province.

  In addition, recent figures from the department show 15 family
  doctors and three specialists set up practices in small town
  and rural Nova Scotia during the summer months. Communities
  attracting permanent family doctors include: Sydney Mines,
  Reserve, New Waterford, Glace Bay, Shubenacadie, Port Williams,
  Enfield, Elmsdale, Wolfville, Musquodoboit, Tantallon, Bass
  River and Antigonish.

  The management committee will examine the number of physicians
  in communities across the province to check on the health care
  needs of all Nova Scotians.

  "Good care from a family doctor is a basic key to good health,"
  Dr. Stewart said. "I am optimistic family physicians will
  decide Nova Scotia is a good place to practise rural medicine."


  Contact: Lori MacLean       902-424-5025

           Donna Christopher  902-468-1866

  EDITORS NOTE: A brief backgrounder is available.
                Contact: 902-424-4492

  trp                     Oct. 17, 1995