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Houston government reinstates doctor-recruitment incentive for Halifax cut in 2021

The 2024-25 budget for the physician incentive program in Nova Scotia is $5.94 million.  (Shutterstock - image credit)
The 2024-25 budget for the physician incentive program in Nova Scotia is $5.94 million. (Shutterstock - image credit)

Doctors who want to set up practices in the most populous region in the province are once again eligible for a physician incentive program aimed at luring new physicians to Nova Scotia.

Family physicians and specialists who want to work full time in the central zone are being offered up to $75,000 — $25,000 when they sign the agreement and $10,000 per year for the next five years, as long as they maintain the practice.

Those who want to set up a practice elsewhere are being offered up to $125,000 in incentives over five years.

Nova Scotia Health Minister Michelle Thompson said Wednesday in Halifax that reinstating the eligibility for doctors in the Halifax region is not an admission the government made a mistake cutting the program.

"No, no, no," said Thompson. "This is another evolution of how we become a magnet for health-care workers."

"We know that prior to our incentive change, 60 per cent of physicians who received the incentive were settling in the central zone. We also had to look at making sure that our rural communities also had the opportunity to settle and welcome physicians," said Thompson.

According to her department, there are currently "68 physicians under incentive agreements to work in Nova Scotia."

The 2024-25 budget for the program is $5.94 million.

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