A lot of work was put into educating people about Nova Scotia’s health and safety laws, said Julie Ellington, director of the Nova Scotia Health Department’s travel advisory centre.
The centre, which is funded by the provincial government and includes health workers, is focused on promoting health and public safety, Ellingwood said.
“A lot, if not all, of the health and social services that we provide are provided by Nova Scotians, so it’s very much about education,” she said.
Health and safety legislation is considered a priority in the province, and Ellingerton said she believes her centre has helped Nova Scotian’s learn about what they can expect in the community.
“We’ve seen that over time as the number of new people come to Nova Scotia, as the population grows, as we have more visitors, and more tourists, the number that’s getting in trouble, and as more people come into the province,” she explained.
The health department was founded in the 1970s and has a team of more than 100 health professionals in each of the province’s 33 municipalities.
The Nova Scotia Hospital Authority is responsible for the health care provided by the province.
It provides care to patients in the health system and is responsible both for public health and medical issues, such as influenza and coronavirus, Elington said.
It has a budget of more $2 billion a year and provides healthcare services across the province to more than 3.5 million people, including more than 4.2 million Nova Scotias, according to Health Minister Terry Lake.
In the past year, the province has reported an increase in the number who were admitted to hospitals, which was attributed to the pandemic, the Nova Scotia Health Authority said in a statement.
The pandemic also caused some hospital closures, and the number seeking care at the hospital rose.
A lot, but not all of the service has been made available to the public, she said, noting that the centre was created to educate people.