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LETTER: Doctors are foundation of health system

The College of Family Physicians of Canada has declared the week of Nov. 6 to 11, 2017, as Family Doctor Week.

Family doctors are the foundation of our health-care system. They help Nova Scotians stay healthy, manage chronic disease and navigate the troubled waters of a health-care crisis. You’ll find family doctors providing care in various settings, including office practices, emergency departments, nursing homes, community settings, patients’ homes and hospitals. They advocate on behalf of their patients and work with the provincial government to ensure Nova Scotians are receiving the best possible care.

As the number of Nova Scotians without a family doctor continues to grow, we hear more and more stories of how people are affected by their inability to access primary care. This situation is particularly difficult for those who have urgent health-care needs.

Physician recruitment and retention will continue to be an issue in Nova Scotia because doctors are getting older and seeking to retire. While none of them wish to leave their patients without care, there comes a point when they must close their practice.

Health-care partners must work together on a comprehensive physician recruitment and retention strategy that offers short- and long-term solutions to help Nova Scotians until physician vacancies are filled. Doctors Nova Scotia is ready, willing and able to support this important work.

Thank you to the family doctors across the province for continuing to provide the best possible patient care at a time when many are feeling the strain of the under-resourced health-care system.

Nancy MacCready-Williams

CEO

Doctors Nova Scotia

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