New Brunswick’s doctors believe in the importance of caring for seniors where they live. We are also strong supporters of the creation of new nursing homes and are pleased with those investments.
Many nursing homes have arrangements where physicians come in to care for their residents. This prevents unnecessary visits to the emergency room. Seeing a senior regularly helps their doctor get to know them, and recognise if they are staying healthy or declining over time.
We know that if a senior does not receive regular and adequate care, they are more likely to go to the emergency room or be admitted to hospital. After they are admitted to hospital and recuperate, they can be stuck in the hospital while they wait for somewhere safe to go. In fact, 24% of Vitalite’s hospital beds are occupied by people who do not need or want to be there, but they have no safe place to go. If a senior is stuck in hospital at $1000/day for many days, this costs the health system a lot of unnecessary money.
Investments in primary care and are one way to reduce the chance that this will occur. Regular, ongoing care from a doctor who knows them is an important factor in avoiding unnecessary hospitalisation.
Michèle Michaud, MD
President, Madawaska District Medical Society