Supports and resources

Supports and resources

Tool kits, key resources and information hub

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.

Information hubs to watch


Questions can be directed to

Local Medical Officer of Health contact information

Inquiries from DNS can be directed to