MEDIA RELEASE: Data Reveals More Than 1,000 Health Care Professional Vacancies

Since 2019, the number of vacancies of highly skilled health care professionals in Nova Scotia has increased 197.6 per cent, leaving the health care system more than 1,000 workers short. 

Data obtained through a Freedom of Information request from Nova Scotia Health (NSH) shows that the number of vacancies in the Health Care bargaining unit, which includes a wide range of specialized positions including Xray Technologists, Perfusionists, Occupational Therapists and many more, has increased from 359.7 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions in April 2019 to 1,070.4 FTE in October 2023. 

“There are thousands of highly skilled – and highly sought-after – health care professionals we desperately need to operate and maintain equipment, process tests, and perform other critical tasks,” said NSGEU President Sandra Mullen, “The work they do is critically important, but we can see the vacancy rates have skyrocketed.” 

The data shows that while the employer recognizes the need and has added many new health care positions, many of these posted positions remain vacant, as NSH is unable to recruit and retain qualified workers. 

“Our health care system cannot function without the work of these Health Care professionals,” said Mullen. “We are now more than 1,000 workers short, putting health care at risk. Government needs to act now.” 

There are more than 7,800 highly skilled Health Care professionals working for NSH and IWK. Together, this diverse bargaining unit includes more than 168 occupations working in 12 key service areas: Diagnostic Imaging & Laboratory; Respiratory; Pharmacy; Physical Therapy; Mental Health & Addictions; Cancer Therapy; Prosthetics; Anaesthesia; Hearing & Speech; Paramedic; Orthopaedic; and Community Health 



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