Nova Scotia is welcoming 13 new family doctors to rural communities across the province.
The doctors will begin seeing patients this fall and winter in Hubbards, Bridgewater, Pubnico, Yarmouth, Digby, Windsor, Elmsdale, Truro, New Glasgow, Guysborough and Glace Bay.
“Timely access to a family doctor remains a key issue facing many Nova Scotians across the province,” said Leo Glavine, Minister of Health and Wellness. “The province is working hard at boosting access to doctors from one end of the province to the other.”
The family doctors are being recruited under the Clinician Assessment for Practice Program (CAPP). It assesses the clinical skills of international medical graduate physicians to enter family practice without residency training in Canada.
“This year, we are fortunate to have 13 family doctors starting a practice through this valuable program,” said Mr. Glavine.
The province is also working to address family doctor access by expanding the Dalhousie Family Medicine Residency Training Program to rural communities, and with more agreements that provide funding in exchange for a doctor’s commitment to work in a rural community.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia implemented CAPP in 2005 with help from the province.
“We created this program to assist internationally trained physicians and to address significant physician shortages throughout the province,” said Dr. Gus Grant, the college’s registrar and CEO. “On both counts, it has been a tremendous success.”
The program has placed 69 family doctors to date.
“The CAPP program is a win-win opportunity,” said Dr. Nasser Firouzabadi, one of this year’s CAPP physicians practicing in Windsor. “International physicians have the opportunity to practice in Nova Scotia, and people in rural communities have more access to a family doctor.”
“Any effort to bring more family doctors to Windsor and other rural areas of the province, is a welcomed one,” said John Bregante, member of the Rotary Club of Windsor and town councillor. “I know that today’s announcement will have a positive impact on many people in our community.”
People who want to make an appointment with the new CAPP physicians should contact local district health authorities.