Green Party Releases Strategy for Community-Based Health Care Reform

22 NOVEMBER 2012

Today at a news conference in Fredericton, Green Party leader David Coon and the party's health advocate, Jim Wolstenholme released their recommendations for reforming health care in New Brunswick.

The Green Party wants to see most New Brunswickers served by community-based collaborative care teams, working with their family doctors, within five years. The Greens are calling on the newly appointed Minister of Health Hugh John Flemming to make this objective his number one priority and treat it with the urgency it deserves.

Today at a news conference in Fredericton, Green Party leader David Coon and the party's health advocate, Jim Wolstenholme released their recommendations for reforming health care in New Brunswick.

The Green Party wants to see most New Brunswickers served by community-based collaborative care teams, working with their family doctors, within five years. The Greens are calling on the newly appointed Minister of Health Hugh John Flemming to make this objective his number one priority and treat it with the urgency it deserves.

"We must reduce the burden on our hospital system if it is to be sustainable, and that means directing resources to the community level so collaborative care health teams can work with family doctors to keep New Brunswickers healthy, while better managing the chronic physical and mental health problems of their patients," said Jim Wolsentholme, the Green Party health advocate.

The Alward government has signaled its interest in placing a greater emphasis on primary health carebut has yet to announce any concrete measures.

"If we want a health care system we can afford, then we need healthier people, and community-based system of collaborative health care that will help people avoid hospitals, leaving our hospitals to concentrate on providing the acute health care for which they are designed," said Green Party Leader David Coon.

Community-based collaborative health care would make family doctors the lead players embedded in a team of health professionals including registered nurses and nurse practitioners, mental health counsellors, respiratory educators and dieticians. They can be housed under one roof in community health centres, or with the advent of electronic patient records, they don't necessarily have to occupy the same space.

"We are proposing a bottom-up approach, where communities propose how to provide collaborative health care locally in response to a request for proposals from the Minister of Health," said Wolstenholme. "As the establishment of collaborative care teams and community health centres are an investment in our future, their start-up should be financed out of our capital budget," added Coon.

Click here for the detailed recommendations for reforming health care in New Brunswick

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