Horizon to expand, open more community health clinics across New Brunswick – New Brunswick


The New Brunswick Medical Society says it hopes to see a greater expansion of government-established collaborative care clinics in the coming year.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to make some changes there and find something that may work for all primary care providers in the province,” said Paula Keating, president of the NBMS.

According to a recent presentation to Horizon’s board, it looks as if that hope is starting to be answered. A presentation last week detailed plans to expand three clinics into what it calls the “patient medical home” model, along with the opening of another 12 community health clinics.

The urgent care centre at the Brookside Mall on Fredericton’s north side is set to get a 19,000-square-foot expansion and will host 10 practitioners with a variety of expertise. It’s hoped the clinic will take on nearly 10,000 patients from the Fredericton area.

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Deputy health minister Eric Beaulieu told a legislative committee last week that the model, which is also frequently referred to as collaborative care practices, is how the province plans to meet the primary care needs of the province. He said the province’s 18-month, $10.3-million primary health-care plan is heavily focused on supporting the creation of those types of practices.

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“At a high level the focus is very much at the level of collaborative care practices,” he said.

“So interdisciplinary primary care teams that have physicians, nurses, potentially nurse practitioners as well as allied health professionals, working either within the same setting or with formalized agreements between each other to be able to have the right professional provide the right care at the right time.”

Click to play video: 'N.B. says it will turn to collaborative care clinics to address primary care shortages'

N.B. says it will turn to collaborative care clinics to address primary care shortages

The other two clinics to receive the “patient medical home” model treatment are in Sackville and Sussex, according to the presentation.

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Horizon is also looking to modernize its extensive network of community health clinics, with the goal of increasing the number that fit within that type of “patient medical home” model. The presentation says it will also create another 12 CHCs.

Beaulieu said the ultimate goal is to ensure rapid access to care for New Brunswickers.

“The outcome we’re looking for is every New Brunswicker is attached to a permanent patient home and every New Brunswicker has access within five days if they call their family physician,” he said.

“So that has been our focus and I would say that we are hopeful that over the next number of years, we will keep seeing gains in that goal.”

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