Liberals pledge a family doctor for every New Brunswicker
Leader Brian Gallant says it would cost about $12.5M over three years
The Liberals say every New Brunswicker will have a family doctor by 2018, if they are elected in the upcoming provincial election.
Leader Brian Gallant made the $12.5 million campaign commitment on Friday during a stop in Rexton.
“New Brunswickers are frustrated by inadequate access to doctors and healthcare professionals in our province, and they are discouraged by excessive wait times for services and procedures,” he said.
The Liberal Party would recruit 50 new physicians to work as family doctors in the province, Gallant said.
Adding family doctors was a recommendation of the New Brunswick Medical Society, which contends everyone in this province should have access to a family doctor.
Dr. Lynn Hansen, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society, said she is "pleased."
“We also believe the 50,000 New Brunswickers without a family doctor share our belief," she said.
“A lack of family doctors hampers care for those with chronic diseases like diabetes and arthritis, and contributes to unnecessary visits to our stretched emergency rooms."
Gallant says a Liberal government would begin implementing that plan in the second year of its mandate at a cost of about $4 million a year for three years.
"These are crucial services that New Brunswickers depend on, and we’ll pay for them by focusing on job creation and giving our economy a boost," he said.
The Liberals would also develop a network of community health centres to provide better access to health care professionals in non-emergency situations and take the pressure off of emergency rooms, he said.
The party would also maximize the use of nurse practitioners, advanced-care paramedics, pharmacists, optometrists and midwives, Gallant said.
"Ensuring all professionals are functioning at their full scope of training will yield better results for New Brunswickers with vastly improved access to care."