Nova Scotia

Part-time doctors seek lower fee

Part-time doctors in Nova Scotia say a lower fee will keep them working and ultimately ease the province's shortage of physicians.

Nova Scotia's part-time doctors are lobbying their association for a lower fee, saying it will keep them working and ultimately ease the province's shortage of physicians.

Both full-time and part-time doctors pay more than $1,300 each year to Doctors Nova Scotia, the professional organization that represents all physicians in the province.

Dr. John Chiasson, president of the group, said they're working on a fee plan that would apply to those who are retired or are close to retirement.

"We're trying to find the solution that satisfies the needs of people that work part time," he said. "We don't know the exact number, but there are many."

Retired and senior members of Doctors Nova Scotia recently raised their concerns. They still have to pay the same fee, even though they work less and make less money, so the cost of running a practice adds up.

Chiasson said if his organization can keep its part-time doctors practising, it'll benefit all Nova Scotians.

"I'm a baby boomer. I'm one of those doctors who will be very soon looking at scaling back my practice," he said.

There have been numerous complaints about chronic doctor shortages in some communities. Some emergency departments are routinely forced to close down because of a lack of staff.

Chiasson said he hopes to see a final pitch soon.

Doctors Nova Scotia has about 3,500 members, including practising physicians and medical students.

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