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N.S. opposition leaders plan to push government to improve health care situation

The report seeks to highlight what it calls the unique role and value of family physicians, amid the province's ongoing doctor shortage.
The report seeks to highlight what it calls the unique role and value of family physicians, amid the province's ongoing doctor shortage. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A lack of access to primary health care is an ongoing problem in Nova Scotia, and the province’s opposition leaders say they will push the Liberal government to improve the situation in 2019.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston says with the province spending over four billion dollars a year on health care, there is a need to be innovative in order to fix systems he says just aren’t working.

READ: N.S. health authority hopes new recruitment website will help decrease doctor shortage

The province has grappled with persistent doctor shortages and emergency room closures in recent years.

Houston says the current system was designed to address acute care and needs to focus more on chronic conditions and prevention given the province’s aging population.

He also believes throwing more money at problem areas isn’t a panacea for what ills the system.

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WATCH: Nova Scotians left frustrated by family doctor waitlist

Nova Scotians left frustrated by family doctor waitlist
Nova Scotians left frustrated by family doctor waitlist

NDP Leader Gary Burrill says access to mental health services is the emerging need in the health system and is something that requires a “significant reconfiguration of priorities.”

Burrill says the system should address mental health stress with the same urgency it does a broken leg or a heart attack.

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