News release

Action for Health Data Updated

Nova Scotians can now see updated healthcare data on the Action for Health website.

The latest data includes family physician recruitment for 2022-23. The number of family doctors who started working in Nova Scotia reached a three-year high, and the net increase was more than twice what was reported in 2021-22.

“Nova Scotians should be able to see for themselves the work underway to improve our healthcare system. While we are making progress, we know there is plenty more to do,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “We have a plan, we are implementing it, and we will continue to use this data to help us focus our resources on what’s working and to address problems when they happen.”

The data shows ongoing positive trends in some areas. The target for admissions to long-term care continues to be met, and the number of people removed from the surgical wait list has been larger than the number of patients added for four consecutive quarters.

The target of retaining 90 per cent of the registered nurses working at Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health was just shy of being met, with 89.4 per cent employed by the health authorities for at least five straight years.

To better track and measure progress, two metrics have been updated:

  • the surgical wait list growth ratio (a measure of list additions and removals) no longer includes patients waiting for endoscopy or cystoscopy procedures; it includes only people waiting for surgeries performed in an operating room, giving a clearer picture of surgical progress
  • the percentage of ambulance offloads (when a patient is transferred from paramedics to hospital staff) in less than 30 minutes now includes only offloads at Level 1 and 2 emergency departments (those at the QEII Health Sciences Centre and regional hospitals), where delays are more frequent, increasing transparency.

Updates of some Action for Health data are published quarterly at: . The latest data is from the fourth quarter of 2022-23 (January 1 to March 31).

Action for Health, launched in April 2022, 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 fourth quarter include:

  • launching a plan to improve emergency care to ensure people with the most urgent needs get care first
  • new pharmacy primary care clinics across the province, offering appointments for patients with common illnesses or who take medications for chronic diseases
  • retention bonuses and incentives for an estimated 55,000 nurses and other healthcare workers in Nova Scotia’s publicly funded healthcare system
  • the Patient Access to Care Act to help healthcare providers more easily come work in Nova Scotia, use all their skills to help patients, and spend less time on paperwork
  • invested $58.9 million to establish Nova Scotia’s second medical school campus at Cape Breton University, in collaboration with Dalhousie University

Nova Scotians can also get data on access to primary healthcare on the Action for Health website’s daily dashboard, such as:

  • in April, there were 1,363 visits to mobile primary care clinics, 4,500 visits to urgent treatment centres, 5,785 visits to VirtualCareNS and 4,681 visits to primary care clinics
  • more than 128,000 people on the Need a Family Practice Registry now have access to primary care clinics and everyone on the list is eligible for free virtual care
  • more than 63,000 Nova Scotians on the registry have signed up for VirtualCareNS.

Additional Resources:

Action for Health daily dashboard:

News release – Strategic Plan to Improve Healthcare in Nova Scotia:

Mandate letter of the Minister of Health and Wellness: