Provincial Health Plan: New Brunswick Health Council’s Primer on Access to Primary Health Care
The New Brunswick Health Council (NBHC) has a mandate to report publicly on the performance of the health system. As part of our public reporting obligations, the NBHC will be producing materials with contextual information regarding the Action Areas under the Provincial Health Plan, “Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action”.
The first area of focus for the NBHC is access to primary health care. As a result of population growth and an aging demographic, New Brunswick is facing an increased demand for primary health care services. Although there has been an increase in the physician to population ratio in the province over time, citizens are reporting a decline in timely access to the primary health care services they need.
“The New Brunswick population is shifting and the demand for primary health care is increasing. Citizens are turning to alternative care settings to access the services they need, despite an increase in family doctors,” says Stephane Robichaud, CEO of the New Brunswick Health Council. “We need to better understand how our existing primary health care resources are being organized and used so that we can make informed decisions that lead to improved health service quality for New Brunswickers, no matter where they live”.
The NBHC intends to produce additional contextual materials for the Action Areas under the Provincial Health Plan throughout the next year to help citizens, communities, and health system stakeholders better understand our current realities.
“Over the next quarters, we are hoping that the information released will lead to additional content that will help identify and equip community leaders and health system representatives so that community health services evolve to better reflect local needs”, mentions Robichaud. “We will also be engaging with NB citizens directly to hear their perspectives on how tools like virtual visits impact their access to primary health care through our Patient Voices Network. We look forward to the opportunity to hear directly from New Brunswickers about their experiences with virtual care at the end of January.
For more details, consult the Primer on Access to Primary Health Care at: https://nbhc.ca/public-reporting-provincial-health-plan/access-primary-health-care.
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