Tracking Nova Scotia health care data on new website

The Nova Scotia government has launched a new website that allows people to track health care data in the province.

The province says the Action for Health website is the first of its kind in Canada.

“We don’t believe there is another jurisdiction in the country that shares this level of data,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson.

The data was previously available internally, but will now be shared publicly on a regular basis.

“The health care system is publicly funded and the public has a right to know and to hold us accountable as well,” said Dr Kirk Magee.

The site will share daily metrics, such as the number of emergency room visits and hospital occupancy percentages.

The province says other metrics, such as ambulance offload times and the number of physicians recruited, will be updated regularly as data becomes available.

“We already knew that primary care is badly needed and is the foundation of a strong health care system,” said Dr. Leisha Hawker of Doctors Nova Scotia.

While Doctors Nova Scotia applauds the province for its transparency, the association is also calling for the creation of a primary care task force.

“Where all stakeholders involved in primary action would come together to consider an evidence-based, shared vision for the long-term transformation of primary care in Nova Scotia,” Hawker said.

Progress on the province’s four-year health care improvement plan is also posted on the website.

“Our health care system is complex, and pressure in one part of the system impacts all the others,” Thompson said in a news release Friday.

“Change will not happen overnight. But by sharing this information now, we are holding ourselves accountable to ensure that change happens and that the system improves in the areas that matter most to Nova Scotians.

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