For Primary Care Providers

This website helps care providers and patients have collaborative discussions about referral options.

Patients and referring care providers can access wait times for over 150 surgical procedures throughout Nova Scotia, and the website will indicate which locations and specialists have the shortest wait times for initial consult and surgery. Wait times are also displayed for many other health services, including diagnostic imaging, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs)  and Computed tomography (CT) scans, Cancer care services, mental health and addictions.

New wait time procedures and services are periodically added as information becomes available. Contact the Department of Health and Wellness for questions about the website.

Note: Surgery providers have reporting obligations under provincial policy, which are intended to ensure that wait time information is as accurate as possible. For the most recent version of the provincial Patient Access Registry Policy, providers should contact their local Access Manager.

The following links are to information to assist referring care providers with referrals.

Electronic Referrals (eReferrals) for Surgical and Diagnostic Imaging Services 
Electronic referrals (eReferrals) have been adopted as the provincial standard for primary care providers and surgeons to use to send surgical referrals and some diagnostic imaging services. In March 2023 Nova Scotia launched an electronic referral tool (eReferrals) and process to manage and coordinate referrals for surgical consults. This tool was expanded to support eReferrals for MRIs in September 2023 and ultrasounds in December 2023. Planning continues for CT scan eReferrals and other services and providers are also expected to be added over time.

eReferrals helps providers securely refer their patients to services that match their needs and preferences. This includes the ability to refer to central intake teams for surgery and provincial diagnostic imaging queues, to be directed to appropriate options. This can save referrers time researching providers and service offerings. 

The tool also provides a comprehensive directory of referral options, standardized referral forms to support complete referrals, supports provider-to-provider communication and helps referrers and patients stay up to date on their referral’s status.

Standard for Physicians Regarding Referral and Consultation for Patients with a Family Physician – College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia 
The Referral and Consultation for Patients with a Family Physician professional standard specifies the College’s requirements of physicians regarding an effective referral and consultation process for those patients with a primary care physician or other provider. Referring physicians and consulting physicians have a professional and ethical obligation to share the responsibility of supporting patients through the referral- consultation process.

Physician Search - College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia 
Locate physicians in Nova Scotia. The Physician Search is updated daily using information provided by the physicians.  Comprehensive, up-to-date information on Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health surgeons and their service offerings can also be found directly within Nova Scotia’s eReferrals tool. Learn more at

Find a Dentist – Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia 
Find a dentist or dental surgeon in Nova Scotia

Central Referral Clinics 
Central referral clinics help streamline the referral process.

  • Neurosurgery Central Referral Clinics *
  • Orthopedic Assessment Clinics *
  • Pediatric Surgery (IWK) Central Referral Clinics *
  • Women’s Health Central Referral Clinics

* Referral option within Nova Scotia's eReferrals tool (see above).

Ordering Guidelines for MRI Exams in Nova Scotia 
All family physicians and Nurse Practitioners in Nova Scotia may order adult MRI services directly without prior approval from a specialist or radiologist. Pediatric MRI exams and breast MRI exams are excluded from this policy and will continue to follow existing ordering protocols.

Dalhousie Department of Medicine Information for Referring Physicians 
Triage criteria, referral process, wait times and contact information for Internal medicine consultations and interventions

Orthopedic Surgery Patient Information 
The My Surgery website is for patients who are having hip or knee replacement surgery. This website provides information to help patients prepare for surgery, stay in the hospital, and recover at home.

Continuing Care Resources for Physicians 
Answers to frequently asked questions by physicians about continuing care services in Nova Scotia.