Doctors are vital

It seems simple, doesn’t it? Doctors are vital to the health of Nova Scotians.

We all know the statistics: there are more than 50,000 Nova Scotians on a list for a family doctor. At the same time, there are about 200 physician vacancies across the province, for both family doctors and specialists.

Wait times for specialist services are long and, while we hear about family doctor shortages, specialty services are also in trouble.

Every day, we hear from Nova Scotians who bravely share with us their challenging journey through our healthcare system. In some cases, our system has failed them. It’s unacceptable. These stories are important, and we must pay close attention.

Despite the heartaches and challenges, you – our patients and members of the public – understand that doctors are vital to your health and to the health of your community, and you’re lending your voice to this important issue. Thank you.

Our patients and members of the public value their doctors and show their appreciation every day – asking us how we are doing, pleading for us not to retire and to stay in Nova Scotia, thanking us with words and acts of kindness such as bringing us treats.

It’s those kind words and simple actions that help keep us going and doing what we love to do: caring for you.

You are our greatest supporters. We hear your positive comments; we see your support through social and traditional media. You give us hope and you give us the energy we need to keep moving forward.

May 1 is Doctors’ Day, a time to recognize the important role that doctors play in keeping Nova Scotians healthy.

To my colleagues across the province: Thank you for the work you do every day. Your dedication to your patients and your sincere efforts to improve the health-care system for all Nova Scotians motivates me to do all that I can to continue advocating for a thriving physician workforce and a better health-care system for all Nova Scotians.

Whether in your clinic, the emergency department, a hospital, a research lab, a classroom or in the community, your work makes a tremendous difference. Thank you for putting patients first.

And to our patients and members of the public, thank you for your tremendous support.

Dr. Tim Holland

President,

Doctors Nova Scotia