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Primary Care and Family Medicine

For many of us, most of our contact with the health care system will be through appointments with our family doctor or nurse practitioner.  We call it primary care because it’s where we go first to access the care that we need.

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NSH is working hard to recruit more family doctors and nurse practitioners because regular contact with someone who comes to know us, and our health, over time is important to helping us stay well and support us to manage illnesses.

But sometimes it’s hard to get in to your family practice when you need to. And some people don’t have a doctor or nurse practitioner at all.

How do I get a family doctor or nurse practitioner?

If you don't currently have a primary care provider, the first step to accessing primary care is to join the Need a Family Practice Registry. When most primary care providers are ready to take on new clients, you will be notified if you are on the waiting list.

I'm on the list, what do I do while I wait?

If you are waiting for a new primary care provider or can't get an appointment, you have several options, many of which have been recently introduced and you may not know about.

Whether you need a prescription filled, a simple check up, or any number of non-life threatening issues addressed, the emergency department (and the long wait times they can present) is probably not your best option.

You can use this simple tool to see all of your primary care access options and choose the one that works best for you.

Show me my primary care options

Accessing Primary Care

There are many ways to access primary care, even if you're not currently attached to a primary care provider.

Answer a few quick questions to receive personalized instructions for accessing Nova Scotia Health's primary care options near you including in-person, virtual and telephone options.

Get Started

Find Emergency Care

Use this tool to identify the emergency care options that are currently available nearest to you.

If this is a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance

Get Started

YourHealthNS App

Much of Nova Scotia's healthcare program and service information is now available on the YourHealthNS mobile app. Download for free on the Apple Store and Android Apps for Google Play.

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