Nova Scotia premier pledges to expand virtual health-care network across the province

·1 min read

HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government is expanding its online virtual health-care program to ensure all Nova Scotians have access to primary care.

Premier Tim Houston made the announcement Thursday, saying the program — called VirtualCareNS — has been operating in the province's northern and western zones since last spring.

He says the government will spend $1.3 million to expand the pilot program to the central and eastern zones beginning in December.

As of Sept. 1, there were 75,180 Nova Scotians registered on the province's online list of people looking for a family doctor.

On Aug. 17, Houston led the province's Progressive Conservative party to a majority win in a provincial election, largely by focusing his campaign on improving health care.

Provincial officials say there are now 11 primary-care providers delivering services through the VirtualCareNS program, which includes eight family physicians and three nurse practitioners.

"We have heard from patients and providers that access to health care is a priority," Houston said in a statement. "Virtual care offers a new means of seeing a primary-care provider for many people, and this expansion is a first step in ensuring every Nova Scotian has access to a form of primary care."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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