Recruitment efforts paying off in Cape Breton with 13 new doctors arriving

Important update as of Aug. 10, 2017: Recent news challenging the information in our news release dated Thursday, Aug. 3, prompted us to review our information and we have a correction to make. We originally announced 16 doctors, when in fact there are 13 doctors arriving in Cape Breton. We counted a doctor who has been offered a contract, but has not yet signed, so should not have been included, as well as a doctor who is starting, but is actually going to another area, not Sydney. The third name was on the list in error. Nova Scotia Health Authority apologizes for any confusion this may have caused and we want to emphasize that this announcement was intended as good news, to congratulate the community, the recruiters and the many doctors who have participated in this recruitment effort with obvious success.


SYDNEY, N.S. – Access to health care is improving for thousands of people in communities across Cape Breton with the recruitment of 13 new physicians. 

Five new doctors started in Cape Breton in July, with eight more set to start in the next six months. These include family doctors, as well as specialists in areas such as psychiatry, radiology and emergency. This will mean better local access and shorter wait times. 

There are also 10 more site visits scheduled this summer for doctors who have expressed interest in Cape Breton. 

“We’re working hard to recruit doctors to the Island. Staff have been steadily welcoming visitors, arranging for new doctors arriving and continuing to travel to promote Cape Breton to doctors across Canada and beyond,” said Tim Guest, Nova Scotia Health Authority’s vice-president of Integrated Health Services and Chief Nursing Officer. 

Guest is also the vice-president responsible for NSHA’s operations in eastern Nova Scotia. “This work is constant; it’s a long-term strategy and we are seeing the results of these efforts.”

Dr. Rex Dunn, a member of the Cape Breton recruitment committee, said recruitment has been successful in part because of the help the group received from the local business community and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation.

“In Cape Breton, community members are always ready to pitch in when we need support,” Dunn said. 

Stuart MacLeod, a well-known member of the business community, is one such person. MacLeod arranged financial support for a video featuring the stunning Cape Breton landmarks and testimonials from local doctors who love their Island lifestyle. 

“Our business community recognized a need for physicians and is willing to do anything to help our community thrive. Cape Bretoners are generous and once I started making the ask, I didn’t get far through my list – I wasn’t refused once,” MacLeod said. “Some gave more than I asked for.”

The Cape Breton recruitment video will be ready in the coming weeks. 

“It’s great to see business and community leaders working closely with Nova Scotia Health Authority to show doctors how attractive life in Cape Breton can be,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “It’s an example of what we can accomplish when we work together to strengthen our communities.”

Cape Breton is aligned with NSHA’s provincial recruitment plan in a coordinated effort to match doctors to local communities and – equally as important – retain them. 

“Cape Breton has a lot to offer – a strong and diverse team of specialists, a well-supported regional hospital, and a growing team of younger doctors. It’s a welcoming community with beautiful surroundings and a unique culture. That’s not hard to sell,” Guest said.

Guest is available to speak on behalf of Nova Scotia Health Authority to media by phone between 10 and 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3. Community physician Dr. Dunn and business leader MacLeod are also available to media for phone interviews. Please contact NSHA senior media relations advisor Kristen Lipscombe to arrange interview times.


Media Contact:
Kristen Lipscombe
Senior media relations advisor
Nova Scotia Health Authority
Phone: 902-473-1537
Cell: 902-478-9736
Toll free: 1-844-483-3344