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N.S. eyes review of physician contracts

The province wants to re-examine the way 545 specialist physicians are compensated.

The province wants to re-examine the way 545 specialist physicians are compensated.

The Department of Health released a report yesterday on Nova Scotia’s “academic funding programs” — essentially contracts designed to attract and retain physicians who provide patient care but also teach at the Dalhousie Medical School or conduct research.

The report, conducted by Deloitte, found that over a three-year period from 2006 and 2009, spending on those programs increased by 16 per cent to $173 million. The report states more accountability is needed in reporting value for money invested in the system.

Health Minister Maureen MacDonald said it’s a matter of measuring returns on investment.

“The question is what are you getting for the payments and how do you quantify that … to ensure you’re getting good value for dollar?” she said.

Jane Brooks, president of Doctors Nova Scotia, said she’s confident the province and physicians can improve the current system.

“We need to be accountable and transparent and make sure we’re providing the best possible patient care we can,” she said.

“We’re happy to be sitting with the Department of Health and addressing common concerns.”

 
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