Senior male patient with grey hair and hospital clothing sitting on wheelchair

Healthcare program and service updates

Accessing Healthcare

As the healthcare crisis continues here in Halifax Armdale and across the province, access to healthcare is becoming increasingly difficult as the province attempts to deal with doctor shortages, long waiting lists, and myriad other systemic issues.

As new services and solutions come online to hold us over while we await long-term solutions, I work hard to share information about these services and programs. The most recent program that has been shared is the YourHealthNS app.

The app is available for download from your preferred app store and can also be accessed on the web at www.YourHealthNS.ca.

This platform consolidates information from various facets of the healthcare system, making it user-friendly for individuals and families.

Key features include a search tool for locating nearby health services, access to vaccination records, the ability to schedule appointments for blood tests, x-rays, flu shots, and COVID-19 vaccinations, among other functionalities.

Additionally, the app offers real-time chat support with a care navigator, aiding users in finding the most relevant services or information for their needs to ensure they receive the necessary care.

Virtual care options have been expanded to accommodate all residents of Nova Scotia. Those without a primary care provider registered on the Need a Family Practice Registry can access virtual care services, which include comprehensive care, diagnostic test orders, and referrals to specialists. This service is available 24/7, 365 days a year, for general consultations and prescription refills.

For individuals with an existing family doctor or nurse practitioner, two free virtual care visits per year are now available, covering general consultations and prescription refills.;

Support for Seniors

Seniors can apply for the annual Seniors Care Grant program, which helps with expenses that allow them to stay in their homes longer and improve their quality of life. To qualify, Nova Scotians must be 65 years or older by March 31, 2024, live in a home they own or rent, and have an annual household income of $37,500 or less.

This year, the grant has been increased to $750 from $500 and now includes home heating as an eligible service. Also, seniors who previously opted in to receive the seniors care grant when applying for the property tax rebate for seniors will need to submit a separate application for the grant beginning this year.

The grant helps seniors cover the costs of a range of healthcare and household services, including physiotherapy, medication and grocery delivery, phone services, and home repairs. The grant may also be used for home heating costs, such as furnace oil, natural gas and electricity.