News release

New Family Doctor Funding Model Pilot Project

A new funding model for family doctors is designed to encourage more team-based care and to make it easier for patients to get the care they need, when and where they need it.

Doctors Nova Scotia and the government worked together to develop the new model, which will be piloted at several family practices.

“Competitive compensation is critical to recruiting and keeping doctors who will care for Nova Scotians,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “This funding model aims to better support family physicians and improve patients’ access to care. We’re pleased to collaborate with Doctors Nova Scotia and we’re looking forward to seeing how this model can help us reach those goals.”

The payment model, which is called blended capitation, will compensate family doctors based on how many patients they have and the number of services they provide. Physicians may also receive a bonus for ensuring their patients can receive timely access to care. Currently, family doctors are paid using a fee-for-service model or by contract.

Under the new model, physicians in a clinic work together to care for the practice’s patients, so if a physician is away or unavailable, another can provide care. This means more appointments could be available the same or next day, in the evenings and on weekends, improving access for patients.

Participating family doctors will continue to be paid using their existing payment model, but at the end of the pilot period, they will receive a top-up if they earned more under the new model.

The pilot project is expected to run until at least March 2023.


With an aging, sicker population, patient care today is much more complex and billing codes haven’t evolved to accurately reflect the work physicians do. This pilot project will test and inform a new payment model, which intends to make it easier for family doctors to provide the care their patients need. Dr. Leisha Hawker, President, Doctors Nova Scotia

My colleagues and I are excited to be engaged in this pilot program, and we look forward to seeing how this new model can further enhance patient access to our team of healthcare providers. Dr. Holly Zwicker, family physician, Upper Tantallon

Quick Facts:

  • the new funding model will be piloted immediately at practices in Cheticamp, New Minas and Upper Tantallon; several other practices may be added to the pilot in the coming weeks
  • the 2019 Master Agreement between the Province and Doctors Nova Scotia provides $7.3 million to pay doctors in the blended capitation pilot program
  • Doctors Nova Scotia is the professional association that represents physicians in the province