Thousands in N.L. without family doctor ‘challenging,’ says health minister
Nurse practitioners say they’re underutilized in a stressed system

The provincial Progressive Conservatives are calling the growing number of people in Newfoundland and Labrador without a family physician a crisis, but Health Minister John Haggie says it’s not a new problem — and it’s one he’s working on.

Haggie met with the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association and the Nurse Practitioner Association on Tuesday to discuss strategies to alleviate the issue, after the released the results of a survey that suggested about one in five people in the province don’t have a family doctor. That’s roughly 99,000 people.

In places like Holyrood, residents are lamenting the retirement of their longtime family doctor, while being unable to find another family physician to take over their care.