The president of Doctors Nova Scotia is applauding a move from the Department of Health and Wellness to eliminate the need for employees to get sick notes from doctors.
Doctor Gary Ernest saying a move to have appointments via phone call or video conference is also a positive move given recent hardships faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given the strains on the healthcare, Dr. Ernest says the recent news from the health department is quite welcome. He tells NEWS 95.7 this will have a positive long term impact on the health care system.
"It really puts an unnecessary burden on a person to have to try and find a doctor to be able to give him or her a sick note," says Ernest. "Number one it's not easy to get in to a doctor if you have one, number two, a lot of people don't have doctors."
He adds the practice of requiring sick notes puts unnecessary work on the shoulders of healthcare workers.
"For them to get a sick note they either have to go to a walk in clinic, and that's not gonna be necessarily easy to get into, or they have to sit for hours and hours in an emergency department," says Ernest.
Ernest describes the other measure from the government - allowing long distance appointments - as hopefully have a long term positive effect for family doctors.
"We've been looking at for a long time, so now what this does is allows us to address any issues where we don't have to, as I say, have a laying on of hands so to speak, by either telephone, or by using a secure form of videoconferencing," says Ernest.
He says these two measures will hopefully help flatten the curve, and reduce the impact of COVID-19.