Premier Tim Houston. (Communications N.S photo)

The following is the monthly column from Premier Tim Houston

It’s no secret we need more people working in healthcare. Recruitment and retention are the biggest challenges facing our system. 

It impacts how quickly Nova Scotians get the care they need. And it affects the morale of hardworking medical professionals who are burning out and need support. 

Here’s the good news – every day more Nova Scotians are stepping up to help. 

A record 233 resident doctors began training in July. That includes 80 new family practiceresidents and many more training in specialty care. 

What does this mean for you? More doctors. 

Some will be taking over from retiring physicians. Others will open new practices. This is great news!

It’s the largest medical residency training class in the province’s history. That’s because people want to come here and work here. They see positive changes happening and want to be a part of it (our scenery and seafood doesn’t hurt though!).

One of the first things our government did was offer a job to every graduating nurse in this province. I met with nursing students and was surprised to find that even with over a thousand vacancies, nurses were struggling to get hired. 

Since we made this offer, more than 400 nursing graduates have joined the system.

Our government recently invested in a partnership with Cape Breton University, Acadia University and NSCC to create nearly 250 new nurse training opportunities. This is in addition to the 200 nursing seats we announced last year.  

I also visited the new class of paramedics who started training in July. They’re part of more than 80 new paramedics currently training in the province. 

We urgently need more paramedics. It’s why we’re providing an $11,500 tuition rebate to paramedics who work here for three years. We also hired nearly 140 operators to handle routine transfers so our paramedics can be where they’re needed most – responding to emergencies. 

In February, we celebrated the halfway point to our goal to train 2,000 continuing care assistants (CCAs). Training more CCAs ensures seniors have the dignity and care they deserve. It means supporting people in their communities and freeing up hospital beds. 

To our graduates and those starting their training – from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. You’re part of the solution and we couldn’t be prouder. 

We’ll continue to train more Nova Scotians and retain the incredible professionals we have. I wish it could happen overnight, but every day we’re building a brighter future for healthcare.

Tim Houston
Premier of Nova Scotia