Opposition Tories release $127M plan to bolster Nova Scotia's health system

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Nova Scotia's Opposition Progressive Conservatives have unveiled a $127-million plan to help boost the province's health-care system.

Although a provincial election doesn't have to be called until spring 2022, Tory Leader Tim Houston released the campaign-style document Wednesday in Sydney, N.S.

Houston said the plan, called "Hope for Health," aims to reduce surgery wait times and to return administrative decision making to local health professionals.

The plan includes $31 million to help anyone without a family doctor access virtual care and to open hospital operating rooms around the clock, seven days a week, in order to clear the province's surgery backlog.

There is also $65 million to increase salaries for family physicians and to add medical residency seats for foreign-trained doctors.

Houston said the plan offers a "practical, patient and community-first approach" for the province's health-care system.

"It's not the people who are the problem in health, it is the system that is the problem," Houston said in a news release. "Once you're in, you have world-class health-care providers who provide you with extraordinary care. But too many people can't get in."

According to the provincial wait list, nearly 56,000 Nova Scotians were without a family doctor as of Feb. 1.