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Wait list management

Wait times web site for Nova Scotians

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia earlier this month launched a new website that will provide the public with information about provincial wait times for healthcare tests, treatments and services.

Nova Scotia’s wait times website can be accessed at www.gov.ns.ca/health/waittimes

The wait times website uses interactive maps and charts to provide information on the times people have to wait for appointments. The information is provided by healthcare facilities within the nine district health authorities and the IWK Health Centre.

Health Minister Angus MacIsaac (pictured at left) said this is the first time this information has been available to Nova Scotians, healthcare providers and the province.

“Up until now, it has been very difficult to implement and co-ordinate a process to shorten waits because we did not have accurate, reliable province-wide information,” said Mr. MacIsaac. “The information shared today provides the evidence we need to effectively identify barriers to timely care, so that we can put the right measures in place to address them. We will continue to share provincial wait-time information as it becomes available.”

Nova Scotians are being encouraged to speak with doctors about the wait time information on the website to see if receiving care in a location with shorter waits is an option for them. For some, using this information will lead to faster care.

“Being transparent with the waits lists our patients are currently experiencing is an important first step,” said Dr. Romesh Shukla, president of Doctors Nova Scotia. “Not only will this information be useful to healthcare providers and patients, but it will also provide healthcare decision-makers with important information needed to address the wait lists in Nova Scotia.”

The website is part of the province’s overall, long-term strategy to improve wait times for health services across the province.

“We are seeing results from our wait times strategy, but we have a long way to go,” Mr. MacIsaac said. “It is only by working together that we – government, healthcare providers and Nova Scotians – can continue to build a better, more responsive health system that provides timely access to healthcare tests, treatments, and services.”

The website also consolidates information on healthcare waits, including the government’s plan to improve wait times and its progress to date.

Nova Scotians can seek treatment or a test anywhere in Nova Scotia where it’s available. For the most part, the only people to receive care faster than those with scheduled appointments are those with a greater care need at the time.

The healthcare wait times provided on the site are for scheduled appointments only. People requiring immediate care are not placed on a wait list. Emergency services continue to be available.

Nova Scotians without Internet access can get the same wait time information by calling Access Nova Scotia at 902-424-5200 or toll free at 1-800-670-4357.

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