According to the Province, the primary health care crisis can wait until 2025 

The NBMS has received a formal response to our proposal to government to stabilize primary healthcare. It leads us to believe they feel no sense of urgency to solve this crisis. The province believes that investments in family physicians can wait until the next Physician Services Master Agreement (PSMA), which would not come into play until April 2025 or much later based on government’s track record. We emphatically disagree. Funding needs to be made available immediately. Physicians across the province do not have the time to wait another two years for solutions. 

 The NBMS had proposed a six-point plan requiring investments to close the gap on the primary care crisis. In response, the government proposed that we re-allocate already insufficient salary increases contained in the final two years of our negotiated agreement away from specialists and surgeons to invest them in primary care physicians. This is extremely shortsighted, divisive, and would have catastrophic impacts on retention and recruitment across the province.  

In the same response, they celebrate a $2.5M investment in primary care transformation within the Regional Health Authorities over the last year. This represents less than 0.1% of our health-care budget. Physicians do not believe this comes remotely close to meeting the level of urgency required to transform our primary care system. If we continue down this road, we fear that our province, already next to last in its support for healthcare in this country, will fall even further behind.  

Every day, our primary care crisis continues to grow. Physicians are making choices. For the most part, they are choosing not to take on patients because there are little to no supports and the remuneration does not reflect the responsibility involved. Every other province in the country is making major investments – how are we once again being left behind when we have accumulated record breaking surpluses four years in a row?  

New Brunswick patients, and the dedicated health professionals who care for them, have been enduring the consequences of a broken system for far too long, and they should not have to wait over a year longer for the repairs to begin. For years, successive governments have tried to cut their way to a more efficient and effective health-care system. It clearly has not worked. It is time to demand more, and to demand better. It is time to demand action.