Nova Scotia's doctor waitlist tops 50,000

Nova Scotia family doctors are taking on more patients, but not quickly enough to decrease the numbers on the province's waitlist, which grew by nearly five per per cent in May.

Latest numbers show an increase of 4.9 per cent between May 1-June 1

Nova Scotia's waitlist for family doctors has hit more than 50,000, according to the latest data from the Nova Scotia Health Authority. (Shutterstock/funnyangel)

Nova Scotia's waitlist for family doctors has hit more than 50,000, according to the latest data from the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

This increase comes after a June 1 announcement from the province that 319 family doctors have taken on a combined 2,893 new patients through the Patient Attachment Incentive Trust.

The $6.4-million program gives doctors a one-time payment of $150 for every new patient they take on.

Ups and down

Statistics show an increase of 4.9 per cent in the number of people waiting for a family practice — 47,669 on May 1 to 50,024 on June 1.

The area with the largest increase is the western zone, which includes the Annapolis Valley, South West Nova and the South Shore, where 14,069 people are waiting.

The eastern zone, including Cape Breton, Antigonish and Guysborough, is the only area with a decrease. There were 2,993 people waiting on May 1, but 2,787 by the end of the month.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority began calling people on the Need a Family Practice Registry in November 2017 — when the waitlist for a family practice was 29,965.