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New Brunswick’s doctors make final call to parties: listen to patients and professionals during Election 2014

With a provincial election being formally announced on Thursday, New Brunswick’s doctors are making a final plea to politicians: listen to patients and professionals during the election period.

“There have been major stories on health care in the news almost every day for the last month, most of them about the priorities of patients and doctors,” said Dr Lynn Hansen, President of the New Brunswick Medical Society. “We have a message for politicians: give voters and patients a clear outline as to how you will improve the health care system.”

The New Brunswick Medical Society has been very active prior to the election announcement. To prepare for the election, they’ve proposed comprehensive proposals – costed according to recent legislation - to all parties and asked them to use them in their election platforms. They’ve also advertised the need for health care discussion to voters across the province.

To comply with provincial legislation, the Medical Society has registered as a Third Party with Elections New Brunswick. The province’s doctors intend to keep the questions of patients front and centre with continued advertisements online, though they will remove their ads from television, Facebook, and YouTube to comply with current provincial legislation.

“Doctors will be commenting on every political party’s platform as it relates to health care,” Dr Hansen said. “We offered our assistance to all political parties to help research the evidence on their health care ideas. Some took us up on the offer, and some didn’t – but we’ll be ready to examine every party’s health care ideas as they are released.”

For their part, doctors have focused their attention on the three problems in health care most cited by patients: lack of access to family doctors, a shortage of nursing home beds, and long emergency room wait times.

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Founded in 1867, the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS) is the professional association representing all physicians in New Brunswick. It is a provincial division of the Canadian Medical Association. Its twin goals are to represent and serve physicians, and advocate for the health of New Brunswickers. Over a hundred New Brunswick doctors sit on our Board and Committees, representing the 1600 doctors in the province.

Media contact: Andrew MacLean, New Brunswick Medical Society: amaclean@nbms.nb.ca