Province offering family doctors $10,000 to take on new patients

Changes to the Need a Family Practice Registry will help more people get the care they need sooner.

As of today, June 22, anyone on the registry can add health information to their profile that will be used to direct them to services, resources, and care options in their community.

“We are taking steps to improve the outdated registry and provide information about care options,” said Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness. “We also want Nova Scotians to be able to update their health status to support access to the right care, at the right time, by the right provider.”

Adding health information is voluntary and will now be part of the process when people sign up. Anyone who is currently on the list will be contacted by Nova Scotia Health by email, letter or phone and encouraged to update their health profile. Profiles can be updated online at or by calling 1-833-941-0040.

The information collected will only be used and shared to help find a family practice and to identify services that best match people’s needs. Any information collected, used or shared follows the Personal Health Information Act and will be handled and stored locally and securely to protect it from unauthorized access or disclosure.

Health profiles will also be used to support a new incentive for family doctors with an office-based practice. The information will be used to match patients with greatest need with a family doctor sooner:
— eligible physicians who accept 50 patients with higher needs from the registry will receive $10,000
— for every additional patient accepted, they will receive $200
— the incentive is available between July 1 and October 31
— patients must be registered with the practice or have a first appointment scheduled by December 31.

How people on the registry are matched with a primary care provider outside of the incentive does not change. The registry will continue to be organized by community and people listed in chronological order based on when they registered.

“We are very focused on increasing different ways for Nova Scotians to access care. It is important that people on the Registry are aware of every available opportunity. Our goal is to develop a system where people can get the right type of care for their needs, when and where they need it.”
     – Karen Oldfield, CEO, Nova Scotia Health

“Triaging patients based on medical conditions adds a much-needed nuance to the Need a Family Practice Registry that will help those on the list who have the most urgent need have access sooner. Ultimately, the solution lies in retaining and recruiting more family doctors to quarterback the care of Nova Scotians.”
     – Dr. Colin Audain, President, Doctors Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:
— as of early June, there were 148,431 people on the Need a Family Practice Registry
— VirtualCareNS is available to all Nova Scotians on the Need a Family Practice Registry
— about 800 family doctors in Nova Scotia have on office-based family medicine practice

Source: Release

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