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Temporary 30-day hold placed on referrals for Medical Assistance in Dying

Nova Scotia Health says it is working through a significant backlog caused by an increase in demand for the service
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(stock photo)

Nova Scotia Health will place a temporary 30-day hold on referrals for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) while working through a significant backlog caused by an increase in demand for the service. The program has already exceeded the total number of referrals received in 2020 and is working to secure assessments and procedures for those on the wait list.

“It is our priority to focus on those who are currently waiting to support them through the process. It is important that we are transparent about our situation and the potential for extended wait times. We know that awaiting a MAID assessment or procedure can be a source of increased distress and anxiety for patients, their families, and others who provide support to them, and we want to minimize this as much as possible,” says Dr. Gord Gubitz, Clinical Lead for MAID. “We continue to work to prioritize patients, families and our MAID care providers in this process.”

The MAID Access and Resource Team is working to shorten wait times and resume referrals as quickly as possible. Nova Scotia Health will immediately begin the work to hire a full time Nurse Practitioner to help support this work. 

“We owe many thanks to the clinicians who have been supporting this service across the province. If you are a medical doctor or nurse practitioner who might have temporary or ongoing capacity to become involved in the MAID process, please reach out to our team at 902-454-0379. We can provide training and support, and we need you now more than ever,” says Dr. Gubitz.



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