News release

Province Recognized for Reducing Red Tape for Physicians

Nova Scotia continues to lead the country in reducing red tape. The Province was recognized today, February 23, with a Canadian Federation of Independent Business Golden Scissors Award for demonstrating leadership in removing administrative barriers for physicians.

“Fixing our healthcare system will take innovative solutions and cutting red tape for physicians is an important step,” said Premier Tim Houston, Minister of the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness. “Frontline healthcare workers from Yarmouth to Sydney have told me that they are tired of time-consuming administrative barriers and want them addressed. I am encouraged by the progress in this area. Our team will build on this work and make our regulatory system smarter and more efficient for everyone.”

Reducing unnecessary physician administrative burden, led by the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness, is being achieved through:

  • collaborating with Doctors Nova Scotia and the Department of Community Services to improve the form physicians use to help patients apply for the Employment Support and Income Assistance program
  • Nova Scotia Health moving the physician on-call program to MSI for administration, significantly reducing processing times for payments
  • Nova Scotia Health making it easier for emergency department, intensive care unit and critical care physicians to work in other areas of the province, increasing accessibility to these services in rural areas.

“Reducing red tape for our physicians gives them more time to do what they do best – care for patients,” said Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness. “I want to thank our hard-working physicians for taking time to share their experiences and solutions to reducing unnecessary administrative burden. There is much more left to do to improve the regulatory environment for doctors, and we’re committed to doing it.”

The office has set Canada’s first burden-reduction target of 50,000 hours, the equivalent of 150,000 patient visits, for unnecessary physician administrative work, to be achieved by 2024.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s annual Golden Scissors Award recognizes people and governments who excel in red tape reduction. This year, Nova Scotia is one of two recipients.


Reducing red tape for our province’s physicians creates a ripple effect and helps improve our healthcare system at large. By improving the regulatory system for physicians, we make it easier to work, start and manage a practice. Fred Crooks, Chief Regulatory Officer, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness

This is important work and I’m happy to see that it’s getting the attention it deserves. We are proud to be partners in this work and I applaud government’s commitment to make real progress in reducing the unnecessary administrative burden faced by physicians. Nancy MacCready-Williams, CEO, Doctors Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

  • a survey of 500 physicians conducted with the support of Doctors Nova Scotia found that physicians in Nova Scotia collectively spend over 500,000 hours per year – the equivalent of 1.5 million patient visits – on unnecessary paperwork
  • the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s Red Tape Awareness Week is February 21 through 25

Additional Resources:

The What We Heard Report from the Speak Up for Healthcare Tour is available at:

More information on how Nova Scotia is improving its regulatory system is available in the office’s most recent annual report at:

The Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness on Twitter: