The province is taking action on recommendations from a provincial health system operational review to make Nova Scotia’s health-care system more effective, efficient and sustainable for all Nova Scotians, now and in the future. The government announced today, Jan. 17, that all 103 recommendations made by Corpus Sanchez International in the report titled Changing Nova Scotia’s Health Care System: Creating Sustainability Through Transformation have been accepted and will begin to be implemented over the next three years. “A thriving health-care system is critical to the future of Nova Scotia,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “With the information in this report, we are ready to chart a path that will ensure our health-care system is safe, accessible appropriate, effective and efficient for generations to come.” The recommendations outlined in the report cover every aspect of the health-care system. It notes Nova Scotia’s system is heavily focused hospital-based care, which is the most expensive way to deliver health-care services. It recommends a focus on community-based care, and restructuring across the system. “Nova Scotians need and deserve a health-care system that supports all of their health-care needs, whether it is staying healthy, living with chronic disease, or end of life care,” said Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. The report was developed with input from thousands of health-care providers and interested groups, from every hospital across the province. It notes factors such as an aging population, poor health status of Nova Scotians, increasing demand for health services, health human resource challenges, and the cost of maintaining the system as reasons why the system must change to continue to meet the changing health needs of Nova Scotians. “As health system leaders, we support the vision of transformation that focuses on quality and safety. In order for the health-care system to be truly sustainable, we must broaden our focus from the treatment of illness, to include maintaining and improving health, in partnership with our citizens,” said Dr. Brendan Carr, vice-president of medicine, Capital District Health Authority. In its response to the report, the province has outlined actions for four key areas: helping people stay healthy; addressing changing needs of seniors; supporting health professionals; and investing for better results. Specific initiatives include establishing a selfcare/telecare phone line for 24/7 health advice, establishing a health human resource strategy, reviewing pharmacy and laboratory services, improving the flow of patients throughout the hospital system, and the use of non-clinical support services. “I am particularly excited to note that we will be engaging citizens in consultation on the development of a rural health strategy for the province, which will include addressing the issue of emergency health care,” said Mr. d’Entrement. “As patients, caregivers and taxpayers, we all have a role to play in ensuring we have the best health-care system possible — not only for ourselves, but for generations of Nova Scotians.” The Provincial Health Services Operational Review, an executive summary of the report, the province’s response document and fact sheets about Nova Scotia’s health-care system are available online at www.gov.ns.ca/health.