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4,100 people will need new doctors as Halifax clinic announces it's closing this summer

4 doctors at South End Family Practice will shutter their facility Aug. 30

Finding a new doctor isn't easy and now more than 4,100 people in the Halifax area will soon be looking for one. The four doctors who work at the South End Family Practice on Spring Garden Road will be closing their practice at the end of August.

"I regret and understand the stress this will cause for you," Dr. Maria Sampson wrote in a notice sent to her 937 patients. "The current state of health care in Nova Scotia and the lack of support for primary care providers has accelerated this closure."

Dr. Johanna Graham, Dr. Lianne Yoshida and Dr. Sarah Brydie are the other physicians who are stepping away from the clinic.

"Despite working with the Nova Scotia physician recruitment team for over a year, they have not secured a replacement physician to take over any of our patients," Sampson wrote.

Graham has the largest number of patients with 1,850. She graduated from medical school thirty years ago.

"The burden on family doctors is getting heavier and heavier and we are all pretty exhausted," Graham said in a phone interview between patient appointments. "More and more things are being dumped on family doctors because there aren't enough specialists to help."

Wait list at 133,000

As of February 1, 2023 just over 133,000 Nova Scotians are in need of a doctor. That equates to 13.5 per cent of the province's population. Nova Scotia experienced record-breaking population growth last year with 31,711 people moving to the province between July 2021 and July 2022.

"The issue is we have very finite resources," said Nova Scotia Minister of Health Michelle Thompson. "We need to make sure that we can sustain and improve access."



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