The central government of Canada and the state government of Nova Scotia have entered a bilateral agreement to enhance healthcare access and services in Nova Scotia, committing more than C$355m ($265m) for this purpose.

To be implemented over the next three years, the initiative is a significant part of Canada’s ‘Working Together to Improve Health Care for Canadians’ plan.

For this plan, the government of Canada is investing around C$200bn over ten years, including C$25bn for tailored bilateral agreements with provinces and territories.

Using federal government funding, Nova Scotia will implement a three-year action plan to deliver improvements to its healthcare system by 2026.

Through this, the province aims to improve health information management, streamline foreign credential recognition for health professionals, and allow key health workers to travel across Canada more smoothly.

The scope of work also includes ensuring that 88% of Nova Scotians have regular access to a healthcare provider.

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This will be achieved through various efforts, such as expanding clinic hours, introducing mobile health services and offering virtual urgent care to aid those without family doctors and improve healthcare access in rural and remote communities.

The plan also focuses on increasing the number of healthcare professionals in the province, recruiting for priority professions and improving work environments.  

In addition, it aims to develop digital tools to simplify access to health information and services for Nova Scotians.

As part of the initiative, a combined system will be created for maintaining patient records and treatments and enhancing communication between patients and doctors.

Canadian Health Minister Mark Holland said: “This agreement and action plan, which reflects Nova Scotia’s priorities, is one more step in right direction and will help to expand access to care across province.

“Together with all the provinces and territories, we will improve Canada’s health care system for everyone.”