Access to Healthcare Concerns are Rising in Nova Scotia: New Study

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia – A new study by Abacus Data has found that Nova Scotians’ concerns about access to healthcare in the province has increased 16 points since 2018. Of Nova Scotians surveyed, 86 percent expressed concerns about being able to access healthcare.  One-third of those surveyed said they were extremely concerned.


The survey, conducted between February 26, 2019, and March 7, 2019, was conducted across Canada. It found that Nova Scotians were more concerned than the National Average (by eight percent) about preparing Canada’s healthcare system to prepare for the aging Canadian population.

The survey echoes what pharmacists across the province are hearing from their patients.


“Our members are hearing from patients on a daily basis who have either lost their family doctor due to retirement, change of practice type, or change of practice location,” says Allison Bodnar, CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia. “Accessing care in the province ERs is rarely a preferred option for these patients.”

The same survey found that 87 percent of Nova Scotians are comfortable having pharmacists help sustain a high-quality healthcare system.  Ares in which pharmacists can do more include:

  • Administering of immunizations
  • Prescribing for common or minor ailments
  • Providing medication reviews and assessments
  • Managing Chronic Diseases

Currently, most of these services are not covered by the provinces health plan (MSI) but 89 percent of Nova Scotians say they should be.

“Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals in the province,” says Ms. Bodnar.  “We have more than 300 pharmacies, in almost every community in Nova Scotia, willing and able to provide increased healthcare services.”

The Abacus Survey is conducted annual during Pharmacy Awareness Month.  This year’s survey has a margin of error of +/- 1.73%, 19 times out of 20.


About Abacus Data

Abacus Data is a Canadian polling and market research firm based in Ottawa, Ontario.


About the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia

The Pharmacy Association (PANS) is the voice of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Nova Scotia. Its mission is to support the professional and economic interests of its members to advance the practice of pharmacy and improve the health of Nova Scotians.

More information is available at


For more information, please contact:

Amy Wagg
Director of Communications
Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia
Phone: (902) 422-9583 ext. 4