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About 75 per cent of New Brunswick health plan complete according to mid-term update

New Brunswick Health Minister Bruce Fitch is pictured. (Alana Pickrell/CTV News Atlantic) New Brunswick Health Minister Bruce Fitch is pictured. (Alana Pickrell/CTV News Atlantic)

The New Brunswick government says substantial progress has been made on the provincial health plan.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the government says almost 75 per cent of the province’s health plan’s objectives have already been complete, two-and-a-half years into the plan which spans five years.

The province’s health minister, Bruce Fitch, confirmed Wednesday that 26 of the 35 initiatives in the plan are now complete, with some surpassing their goals, and the rest are underway.

“The provincial health plan is already making significant improvements in delivering rapid, quality care to New Brunswickers,” said Fitch. “We have addressed some long-standing surgical wait times, created new options to access primary care, and added new mental health and addiction services.”

According to Fitch, other actions are also being taken outside of those outlined in the plan, including measures related to training, recruitment, and retention of health-care workers.

In the province’s mid-term update, the province states New Brunswick has gained 89 physicians and 686 registered and practical nurses since 2021.

“The provincial health plan cannot be implemented without ensuring we have the health-care professionals in place to deliver services New Brunswickers need, when they need them,” said Fitch. “That is why we have made it a priority to increase opportunities to train in New Brunswick for careers in nursing and medicine, and to implement innovative programs to bring in internationally educated health-care workers.”

Some highlights of the mid-term update include:

  •  More than 59,000 patients have been connected to NB Health Link and can access health-care services from doctors and nurse practitioners while they wait to be assigned to a family doctor or collaborative care practice. More people are receiving services as provider hours are added and capacity expands.
  •  The list of people waiting a year or longer for hip and knee surgeries has been eliminated. As of April 1, the remaining surgeries waiting longer than a year were scheduled. In addition, three clinics have opened to move more than 8,250 cataract surgeries out of hospitals in an effort to further reduce wait times.
  •  More than 115,000 New Brunswickers now have access to their health data online through MyHealthNB.
  •  The Addiction and Mental Health Helpline (1-866-355-5550) provides addiction and mental health support to New Brunswickers. It has received more than 20,000 calls since it was launched last year. About 80 per cent of those calls were resolved over the phone, avoiding further intervention or hospitalizations.
  •  Clinical services for seniors have been enhanced through partnerships between the Extra-Mural program and special care homes, leading to a reduction in non-urgent 911 calls, emergency department visits and hospitalizations for seniors in those facilities.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories


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