As 100,000 people in N.S. are without a family doctor, one of the country’s leading healthcare experts says the solution isn't hiring more doctors. Dr. Michael Rachlis explains the number of family physicians in N.S. is almost 20% higher than the Canadian average but adds that roughly 50% of visits to family physicians would be as well done or even better by somebody else. Dr. Rachlis says there needs to be a better understanding of what services patients really need. In hospitals, about 20% of patients are ALC patients, meaning they need home care or rehab and shouldn't be at a hospital bed. Among the things that he says need to be addressed:
- The morale of people within the system is horrible. They're burnt out and are leaving their profession, and something significant should be done to deal with that issue; and
- Services provided outside of institutions need to be improved to have enough beds in institutions.
Dr. Rachlis explains that when somebody’s discharged, they need better aftercare to make sure they don't come back to hospital. When they don't come back to hospital, staff who don't have enough to do can be put into the community.