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New Brunswick’s doctors welcome release of Progressive Conservative platform

New Brunswick’s doctors are welcoming the Progressive Conservative Party’s commitment to implement several plans for health care.

“The PC platform says they will implement what they’ve already committed to doing, including improving elements of primary care reform, the drug plan, and seniors care,” said Dr Lynn Hansen, President of the New Brunswick Medical Society. “These initiatives are important.”

The Medical Society had also previously supported the launch of the Drug Plan and the Primary Healthcare Framework.

The PC Party platform contains seven bullet points on health and seniors care, with one new policy – a Seniors Policy to “engage our senior population to better meet their needs for community involvement, healthy living and wellness.” It also references the Premier’s Challenge, an important initiative to get more young New Brunswickers physically active.

“To be clear, we are looking for a comprehensive plan from political leaders to improve healthcare for New Brunswickers,” said Dr Hansen. “While the Primary Healthcare Framework and Home First contain good ideas, we were hoping to see a platform that offered a stronger, redoubled commitment to reduce the numbers of seniors in our hospital who do not want or need to be there, and leadership to reduce emergency room wait times.”

As a sign of the importance of health care, Dr Hansen noted that the bulk of the new spending being announced in the PC party platform would go toward funding the New Brunswick Drug Plan, a signature policy of the provincial government.

“The fact that most of the new government spending announced will go to health care is an important reflection of just how important health care is as a public service to New Brunswickers.”

Dr Hansen reiterated the Medical Society’s commitment to work with all political parties in the development and implementation of all health-related policies.

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