Income Stability Program
In late April, the Department of Health and Wellness launched an income stability program (ISP) for fee-for-service (FFS) physicians who volunteered to deploy to other health services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was retroactive to March 13 and saw 570 physicians take part until it concluded in July.
In October, Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) conducted an evaluation of the program looking at the impact of the program on physicians and the health-care system. The evaluation also looked at lessons learned around program implementation and whether the ISP adequately supported physicians during the pandemic.
The evaluation included a survey to all practising physicians, both those who were part of the ISP and those who were not. More than 465 physicians responded to the survey. Three virtual focus groups were organized with a mix of primary care and other specialist physicians, as well as telephone interviews with key health system leaders, including the deputy minister of health and wellness, the CEO of Nova Scotia Health, the vice-president of medicine at Nova Scotia Health and four zone medical executive directors.
The Program was viewed by both physicians and health system leaders as successful in stabilizing the physician workforce, allowing preparation for pandemic readiness, and creating capacity among the physician workforce in case of a large COVID-19 impact. Overwhelmingly, physicians reported that the program made them feel supported by DNS, and most importantly, by government. They felt government recognized their value to the health-care system and expressed gratitude for the program and the support it gave them during this extremely difficult time. This was a significant shift in physician perceptions of government support, and we believe it will significantly enhance our ability to recruit and retain physicians to the province.
Read the full evaluation report here.
- Tool kits and guides
- Clinical supports
- Medication access for palliative care patients
- Federal support for patients
- Gut Link – telephone consultations 1-888-473-GUTS (4887)
- Medical support services for long-term care
- NSHA palliative care coverage
- The INSPIRED COPD outreach program
- Personal directive app
- COVID-19 Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations and using blood wisely campaign
- Mental health supports
- Legal information
- Financial/economic supports
Information hubs to watch
- Nova Scotia Health Authority updates and service cancellations
- IWK updates and service cancellations
- Doctor Nova Scotia updates and information
- Dalhousie CPD COVID-19 webpage
- Department of Health and Wellness
- 811 assessment – when to call
- Government of Canada
- Canadian Medical Association
- Canadian Pediatric Society COVID-19 resources for the care of children
Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Medical Officer of Health contact information
Inquiries from DNS can be directed to email@example.com