Expansion of CHCs cited as key to Nova Scotia’s health

In its 2014 annual recommendations to the Government of Nova Scotia, a leading national and regional think tank has once again recommended action to improve primary health care in Nova Scotia.

Released on March 19th, the Nova Scotia Alternative Provincial Budget 2014: A Budget for the 99% calls for investments to expand Community Health Centres as a key strategy to improve the health of Nova Scotians and the overall impact and cost-effectiveness of our health system.

Specifically, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has called for the Government of Nova Scotia to:

Invest $57.8 million to improve Primary Care by:

  1. Opening 10 new Community Health Centres and provide support to existing facilities through an investment of $40 million, plus $500,000 to fund the NS Federation of CHC’s;
  2. Eliminating fee-for-service payments of physicians and move to Alternative Payment Plans, which encourage more comprehensive and preventive care, leading to cost savings;
  3. Allocating additional funding of $12.3 million to hire 100 nurse practitioners;
  4. Increasing funding for and enrollment in Nurse Practitioners training programs: $5 million; and
  5. Engaging the other Atlantic provinces and federal government to develop a plan for the creation of a midwifery training program in the region.

The alternative budget also include an important series of other recommendations geared to improving a number of social determinants of health such income security, education and housing. The NSFCHC strongly encourages Nova Scotia residents to review the full 2014 Nova Scotia Alternative Budget.

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