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New Brunswick’s doctors welcome Liberal Party commitments on health care

Just one day into the provincial election campaign, New Brunswick’s doctors are already welcoming a political party’s commitments on health care.

“We are pleased to see a commitment from the Liberal Party of New Brunswick to ensure every New Brunswicker has a family doctor by 2018,” said Dr Lynn Hansen, President of the New Brunswick Medical Society. “We also believe the 50,000 New Brunswickers without a family doctor share our belief.”

The province’s doctors have called for many of the health care platform ideas the leader of the Liberal Party, Brian Gallant, has just announced. They include a family doctor for all New Brunswickers by 2018; more team-based primary care; improving wait times in emergency rooms; and removing barriers for seniors who need long-term care.

“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,” said Dr Hansen. “We’re pleased the Liberal Party has heard the voices of patients and doctors on these critically important issues.”

The province’s doctors have made a public commitment to comment on all political platforms as they pertain to health care, but the organisation is strictly non-partisan.

“We look forward to similar commitments from all political parties in New Brunswick, including the creation of more nursing homes, which are sorely needed in our province,” said Dr Hansen. “The fact that these commitments on health care come so early in the election campaign is evidence that health care will be a major topic of conversation during Election 2014.”

Doctors have made a large effort to advance health care discussion during the 2014 Election. They 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. Its twin goals are to represent and serve physicians, and advocate for the health of New Brunswickers.

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