Nancy MacCready Williams

Province Working with Doctors to Reduce Administrative Burden, Red Tape

Work is underway to reduce administrative red tape so doctors across the province can spend more time with their patients.

The Nova Scotia government, through the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness, is working with doctors and other partners to simplify and streamline processes and paperwork. The pilot – the first of its kind in Canada – will identify a number of actions that will reduce unnecessary burden by the end of the year.

“The new agreement with doctors not only improves compensation, it also includes a commitment to address unnecessary administrative burden on doctors, something we know has been a long-standing issue,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “This will improve the work environment for doctors as well as access to care for Nova Scotians.”

Initial discussions with doctors, health-care administrators, regulators and others have already identified several potential areas of focus, including:

  • certification, licensing and privileging (which includes permission to work in certain hospitals, perform certain procedures, etc.)
  • billing and MSI audits
  • doctors’ notes
  • paperwork and forms
  • access to disability programs and services

The Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness has helped reduce unnecessary regulatory burden on businesses and saved them $34 million annually. It is on track to remove an additional $10 million annually by the end of 2020.


Doctors spend too much time on paperwork and other administrative tasks and processes. They’d rather spend more time doing what they do best and that’s caring for patients. We’ve met with the office and provided examples of unnecessarily long and complex forms and processes that doctors deal with daily. We are encouraged to see this pilot underway, we are keen to support the efforts and ultimately we want to see results for doctors and their patients. Nancy MacCready-Williams, CEO of Doctors Nova Scotia.

Quick Facts:

  • there are about 2,600 doctors licensed to practice in Nova Scotia
  • government and Doctors Nova Scotia reached four-year master and clinical/academic funding plan agreements in November 2019
  • the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness was created in 2015 to reduce red tape and improve the regulatory environment for business
  • the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ Red Tape Awareness Week is Jan. 20-24
  • for the second consecutive year, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business rated Nova Scotia’s efforts in improving the regulatory environment an “A” in its report card

    Media Contacts:

    Leanne Hachey
    Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness

    Heather Fairbairn
    Health and Wellness

    Barbara Johnson
    Doctors Nova Scotia