Waitlist For Family Doctors In N.B. Increases To 63K

New Brunswick’s task force on health reform implementation says the waitlist for a family doctor has grown to more than 63,000 people.

That is despite promises outlined by the government in 2021 to eliminate the list by the end of June.

Task force co-chair Suzanne Johnston told reporters Wednesday the increase is due to the large number of residents moving to New Brunswick.

“We do have a very comprehensive plan that is becoming finalized, and hopefully [is] able to bring forward some news about that Patient Connect list and that transformation,” said Johnston.

Johnston said the work is going to take time, but in the meantime, she referred to the province’s other avenues in providing health services such as eVisitNB and Tele-Care 811.

Johnston said her team has been travelling across the region to see examples of collaborative community-based health-care, which she said is part of the answer to New Brunswick’s health-care crisis.

“Moving towards integrated community collaborative care, using team-based care models where different health professionals are working together to their full scope of practice, has been demonstrated across the country to produce effective outcomes for patients,” she said.

Gérald Richard of the health plan implementation task force said an example that shows community-led health-care projects works is the “Nursing Homes Without Walls” program, currently piloted in six communities.

“There has been a 63 per cent drop in emergency room visits for people in Port Elgin enrolled in the Nursing Homes Without Walls program,” said Richard in a news release.

“These are the success stories we need to share and learn from.”

Richard said the task force will launch a dashboard this week, similar to the COVID-19 dashboard, to share details on targets to see if the task force is moving in the right direction to get residents off the waitlist.

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