Steady increase since January
56,630 now seeking doctors
Two key players depart
Is good policy to blame?
TWO OF THE key players in the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s physician recruitment efforts have left the building in the past few days.
No doubt the alarming record of the past nine months is part of the reason (see chart above).
The health authority bases its numbers of the count of doctor-less people signed on to its Need a Family Practice Registry, something it strongly encourages. This makes sense because it’s realistic — you can be sure someone who’s taken the trouble to register truly needs a doctor. By contrast, surveys will count people who shouldn’t be counted: those who don’t want a family doctor but still, truthfully, say “no” when asked if they have one. That could be why Statistics Canada always reports a higher number than NSHA.
Put another way, the steady increase in the number of people needing doctors may be a reflection of a steady increase in awareness of the registration service. Can this be an example of sound policy being bad office politics?