Halifax too haughty?

Liverpool home page large
Home page of Liverpool’s “doctor wanted” website.

Council does nothing to attract doctors

While Liverpool eats our lunch

Are Haligonians too haughty to get involved in finding family doctors? Almost 21,000 people within an easy drive from City Hall want a doctor but can’t find one. City council is doing nothing.

By contrast, in Liverpool, the Queens General Hospital Foundation has created an attractive website about the advantages of practising medicine there.

Is Halifax Council too proud to admit we have a medical problem here? Is meeting in secret to discuss secret complaints apparently levelled against public Councillor Matt Whitman a diversion? Is their plan to distract prospective businesses from noticing that if they come here they won’t be able to get a doctor?

I ask because 6.3 per cent of Haligonians on the western side of the harbour can’t find one, the second-worst rate in the province. The rate on the Dartmouth side of the Harbour is 5.7 per cent, and Bedford-Sackville is 4.0%.  Taken together, the rate for these communities (metro Halifax, really) is 5.6 per cent, or 21,000 people. And these are people who WANT doctors, not healthy-as-a-horse twenty-somethings.

Meanwhile, “only” 1.2 per cent of people in Antigonish County can’t find doctors. Cape Breton, mainlanders’ favourite target for derisory comments, is “only” 2.4 per cent.

Here’s a video about Queens County posted by our enterprising Liverpudlians.

Still not worried, councillors? Well, guess which city is doing better than us. That’s right, Moncton. MONCTON!! 

Turpin Laboratories asked Halifax’s communications people what we’re doing to attract more doctors. The response: “Physician recruitment and addressing issues of possible physician shortages, is being led by the province as well as the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Although the municipality is not directly involved in these efforts, we aim to contribute to recruitment efforts by attracting potential residents through service and infrastructure improvements.”

Or, in Yiddish: “bupkis”.

Anyway, Liverpool looks like a good place for a doctor to set up a practice. Obviously it’s an engaged community, but there are some other advantages as touted by its website. 

For example, they’ve renovated their hospital, the Queens General. The $16m cost was 90% funded by the community.

Did I mention, councillors, that doctors interested in Liverpool have two more provincial incentive options available than they would if they were interested in Halifax? Have you asked the province why?

All that, plus an isolated, kick-ass, white-sand beach half an hour away that Liverpudlians won’t tell you about until you’ve moved there.

Better get moving ladies and gentlemen, before your family doctor sees that website.


” … an enchanting blend of rich seafaring history, quaint fishing traditions, modern conveniences and services, a thriving arts and culture scene, and numerous recreational areas, all on the shores of the spectacular Atlantic Ocean.

“Known for being kind, open, and generous, Liverpudlians welcome newcomers with enthusiasm. Our community is safe, diverse, and inclusive, featuring people from all walks of life–tradespeople, artists, entrepreneurs, young families, and retirees.”

Emergency Room

QGH has a full-service emergency room with 24/7Queens general hospital coverage. Unlike other smaller municipalities, the QGH ER has never closed in the past 64 years. The QGH ER includes features such as monitoring capabilities, a video-laryngoscope, and a FAST ultrasound, a new digital X-ray, and 24-hour laboratory services.


The QGH provides many expert services. These include:

  • Ambulatory Care area with endoscopy and small procedure operating room.
  • Respiratory therapy.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Physiotherapy services.
  • Mental health services.
  • Public health services.
  • Pharmacy.
  • Stress testing.
  • Laboratory services, with full lab and point-of-care testing available.
  • Diagnostic imaging, with on-call technicians available after hours.


By using a holistic approach, the hospital’s collaborative practice gives patients access to the most appropriate, responsive, and comprehensive care available. Located in QGH, the collaborative practice features:

  • Room for five physicians.
  • A Nurse Practitioner, pharmacist, and social worker.
  • Family practice nurses.
  • A mental health group.
  • Addiction specialists.
  • Visiting clinics, including Medicine, Surgical, Geriatrics, Palliative Care, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry
  • Opioid replacement clinic.

Liverpool is a training centre for medical students and Family Practice residents from Dalhousie Medical School.


Notable facilities and features include:

  • Helipad.
  • Digital X-ray machine.
  • 22 acute care rooms with private bathrooms.
  • 4 concentrated care suites.
  • 2 bariatric rooms.
  • 2 infectious disease suites with laminar flow.
  • Ergonomically designed rooms with overhead lifts.
  • Large windows that maximize the use of natural light.
  • A rooftop deck and downstairs atrium for ambulatory patients.

3 thoughts on “Halifax too haughty?

  1. Queens General Hospital Foundation is not the municipality. The hospital and emergency rooms were renovated by the province, not the municipality. I am sure if you asked them the QEII, Dartmouth General, and IWK foundations are all active on this file. I don’t see anything here that Queens Region is doing, other than maybe the video – and, I like our video better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itHhoNU-eVE

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a point of clarification to Mr. Mason’s comments concerning the Queens General Hospital upgrade project, we would like to submit the following facts.
    • The Province through the Department of Health did indeed fully support this project and played a major role in the overall success of this community effort, however the funding (90% raised through the Foundation and the generous support of our community), on site project management, control of cost and schedule were the responsibility of the Queens General Hospital Foundation. The project manager was hired by the foundation, a foundation member attended each project meeting and was fully informed of decisions to maintain control over scheduling and very tight budgetary controls. The schedule did slip slightly, but importantly, the project did come in on budget.
    • The comments in our Foundation web site are totally correct and factual. Our hospital’s success is as a result of a totally supportive effort of the people in Queens County, our Municipal government and most importantly the impressive and loyal staff of the Queens General Hospital.
    We are always willing to share our experiences with other foundations in Nova Scotia to help in improving the health of all Nova Scotians.

    Dr. Al Doucet, Chair; Len Perry, Trustee
    Queens General Hospital Foundation

    Liked by 1 person

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