News release

Action for Health Data Now Publicly Available

Nova Scotians will now have access to important, regularly updated healthcare data.

The Action for Health website now includes measures so Nova Scotians can understand how the Province is tracking and measuring progress on improving the system for patients and healthcare professionals.

This was a key commitment made in April when the Action for Health strategic plan was launched.

“Our healthcare system is complex, and pressure in one part of the system impacts all the others,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “Change won’t happen overnight. But by sharing this information now, we are holding ourselves accountable to make sure change happens and the system improves in the areas most important to Nova Scotians.”

The indicators are available at: https://novascotia.ca/actionforhealth . Some, such as emergency department visits and hospital occupancy percentages, will be updated daily. Others will be updated regularly as the data becomes available.

Information on the website will include:

  • recruitment numbers for family doctors, nurse practitioners and registered nurses
  • the percentage of Nova Scotians seeking a primary care provider through the Need a Family Practice registry
  • waitlists for home care and admissions into long-term care
  • the percentage of hospital admissions for people whose complex needs could have been better addressed with primary healthcare
  • patients’ experience with hospitals
  • employee satisfaction levels
  • ambulance offload times
  • emergency department visits and hospital admissions, discharges and surgeries
  • hospital occupancy percentages and trends over time.

Progress on individual action items included in the four-year plan to improve healthcare have also been added to the website.

Actions the government has taken to improve healthcare include:

  • hiring more than 350 registered nurses and licenced practical nurses at Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health, starting between January and September 2022
  • recruiting 160 new physicians between April 2021 and March 2022, a record number
  • expanding opportunities for licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses
  • expanding VirtualCareNS to give people access to primary care online
  • launching a recruitment campaign for healthcare workers
  • reducing red tape for physicians
  • investing $57 million to attract, hire and train more continuing care assistants, including offering free tuition for students, and opening beds more quickly for seniors
  • increasing continuing care assistants’ wages in the publicly funded continuing care sector by up to 23 per cent
  • setting up a paramedic working group to develop shared solutions
  • implementing the direct to triage policy across the province, which will allow paramedics to spend less time waiting in hospital with low-risk patients and more time available to respond to emergencies
  • creating the Health Equity Partnership table including the Province, Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health; its first meeting will be held in July, with a focus on developing a health equity framework, metrics and indicators
  • opening a new recovery support centre in Dartmouth for people seeking help with substance use or gambling
  • opening the province’s first mental health acute day hospital at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.

Quick Facts:

  • the Province’s 2022-23 budget is focused on solutions for healthcare and increases healthcare spending by $413.4 million to $5.7 billion
  • feedback from the Speak Up for Healthcare tour included 2,391 online forum submissions, 254 listening sessions, five roundtable discussions, 67 video pitches to the Premier, more than 200 comment cards and more than 60 email submissions

Additional Resources:

Mandate letter of the Minister of Health and Wellness: https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/letters-2021/ministerial-mandate-letter-2021-DHW.pdf

What We Heard report from the Speak Up for Healthcare tour: https://premier.novascotia.ca/speak-up-for-healthcare

Come Home to Nova Scotia website: https://premier.novascotia.ca/doctors

Campaign launched in December targeting healthcare professionals and skilled tradespeople: https://liveinnovascotia.com/recruitment/

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