Nova Scotia’s health-care system has recently undergone significant changes. Doctors supported the move from nine district health authorities to one provincial health authority, known as the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) plus the IWK Health Centre.
When the province was developing its plan to consolidate the districts, Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) provided the Minister of Health with five recommendations on how the government should handle the physician-centric issues resulting from the merger.
Recommendation 1: Enable physicians and administrators to make decisions locally (that is, medical staff governance).
Recommendation 2: Involve DNS and physicians in developing and implementing procedural credentialing.
Recommendation 3: Treat all providers consistently.
Recommendation 4: Involve DNS and physicians in developing and implementing the new performance management model.
Recommendation 5: Limit the purpose/use of privileges, and implement the following:
- Collaborative decision-making for physician resource allocation
- Grandfathering current physicians not privileged
- Attaching the requirement to be privileged with access to health authority services
- Managing service deliverables in service agreements/contracts
Although physicians have been engaged in some discussions, many doctors are concerned with their current level of engagement with the NSHA. The association will continue to work on recommendations 1, 2 and 5, and look for opportunities to increase physician engagement with the NSHA.