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There has been a lot of reaction to the nearly $60 million Nova Scotia government committed Tuesday for a new medical school campus at Cape Breton University (CBU) in Sydney, NS
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Jim Deleskie, a Sydney resident who is among more than 130,000 Nova Scotians without a family doctor.
While he’s optimistic about the project, Deleskie said that if CBU’s medical school isn’t expected to open until fall 2025, and it takes a few years after that for the first doctors to train, he doesn’t see it happening. help him get a doctor. anytime soon.
“I hope that before 2030,” said Deleskie. “But looking at how far we are in 2023 already, that kind of math doesn’t seem promising for that part.”
Graham MacKenzie, a pharmacist in Baddeck, NS, said he’s heard first-hand on physician recruiting visits across the country that there’s a need to practice in rural areas — a need the new CBU medical school aims to fill. .
“I can tell you, there are a lot of doctors out there who would love to practice in a rural setting,” MacKenzie said. “I think that if you have a school here and there is an opportunity in the area now for the doctors, then this is the best way we will get them.”
Nova Scotia’s official opposition leader generally supports the project as well but says he is concerned about who will teach at the new campus.
“This could certainly help if they were able to build this in two years,” said Zach Churchill, leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal party. “Often, you will have educators who come out of hospitals to train and university groups for the medical school, so we have to make sure that our hospitals are not harmed.”
MacKenzie also wondered how the medical students’ house would work.
“The issue of where to live will come up,” he said.
The Nova Scotia government said in a news release that CBU medical students may be required to agree to work in rural Nova Scotia for a few years after graduation.
Similar concerns have also been raised about the new medical school building at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.
In February, the CEO of PEI Health, Michael Gardam, said he wasn’t sure PEI’s health system could support bringing doctors back to study, or recruiting and paying for new doctors.