This column is one submitted to media by Premier Tim Houston’s office.
August 30 marks two years since I was sworn in as Premier of this province, the greatest place in the world. It is an honour and a privilege to serve on behalf of Nova Scotians.
I was elected to fix healthcare and that remains our top focus.
This past year we held three Health Summits, bringing together leaders in healthcare to focus on solutions. These summits were the first of their kind and now regulators, unions and leaders are working in partnership to reach our healthcare goals.
We also passed the Patient Access to Care Act, a law that makes it quicker and easier for foreign-trained healthcare providers to come and work here. It means more healthcare providers working to their full scope of abilities and spending more time with patients. This act will make a huge difference in recruiting healthcare professionals – and getting you the care you need, when you need it.
New deals were also reached with doctors and nurses that will make the province an even more attractive place to work. These deals will help keep our hardworking healthcare professionals already in the system and attract new people.
We have plans for more than 60 new and strengthened clinics in communities across the province. There are also 32 pharmacy clinics offering appointments for patients with common illnesses or who take medications for chronic diseases. And all Nova Scotians on the Need a Family Practice registry can access virtual care.
We’re also working hard to improve the emergency experience across the province, including introducing patient advocates in Emergency Departments and adding a new LifeFlight plane that will transport non-emergency patients travelling long distances to help keep more ambulances in communities.
These initiatives are just the tip of the iceberg – there is so much more happening.
When I became Premier, I knew fixing healthcare was not for the faint of heart. It would take investment, innovation and leadership to stop the negative momentum and move the province forward. But we are starting to see real change. There is more work to do, but our government will not stop until Nova Scotians have the healthcare system they deserve.
Premier of Nova Scotia