Medical Society applauds new family medicine agreement with government

Today, the President of the New Brunswick Medical Society hailed the creation of a new Memorandum of Understanding with the provincial government, which outlined a plan to modernise family medicine in New Brunswick.

“We are pleased that Minister Melanson has announced this commitment to collaborate with the New Brunswick Medical Society to improve family medicine in the province,” Dr John Whelan outlined. “We expect patients to benefit from this collaboration, which will increase the number of team-based family medicine clinics in the province.”

The Budget Day announcement of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reflects work by the government and doctors over the last several months to create a path designed to attract young physicians and those who want to work in a different structure and see it operational in the next year.

“We believe recruiting family doctors will become easier by creating a new option for them to provide more care for their patients,” said Dr Camille Haddad, Past President of the NBMS and a family doctor in Miramichi. “This will improve patient access on weeknights and on the weekend, which will prevent unnecessary walk-in clinic use and visits to clogged emergency rooms.”

New Brunswick has a very traditional model for the recruitment, payment, structure, and tools used by family doctors. As a result, New Brunswick is the Canadian outlier on some measurements related to patient access to their family doctors. The MOU outlines a path which will be further developed over the course of coming months and is designed to encourage doctors to work in teams, support each other’s patients after-hours, and work with other allied health professionals.

“We have worked for a very long time to see this kind of commitment from government,” said Dr. Whelan. “There is a lot of work to do, but we believe the modernisation of family practice is overdue and we’re ready to hammer out the details.”

CONTACT: Andrew MacLean, New Brunswick Medical Society, (506) 478 2436

Founded in 1867, the New Brunswick Medical Society is the professional association representing all physicians in New Brunswick. Its twin goals are to represent and serve physicians, and advocate for the health of New Brunswickers.