22 JANUARY 2013
The Green Party of New Brunswick has released a position paper on the proposed prescription drug plan saying it will only be affordable if Province's approach to primary health care is transformed.
The annual costs of the existing public prescription programs have been growing at a greater rate than the other big areas of public health expenditures – hospital operations and physicians’ fees,” said Green Party Health advocate Jim Wolstenholme. "So it is essential that collaborative health care teams be built around family doctors so they know their patients can be supported in making needed lifestyle changes, rather than being left to simply write prescriptions for them."
Wolstenholme says collaborative health care teams would include: health educators, dieticians, respiratory educators and psychologists.
Without a collaborative health care system, he said family doctors have “little choice but to rely on prescription drugs as their primary tool for treatment.”
Wolstenholme said the provincial government must make collaborative health care a priority, and in doing so will be able to keep the costs of a prescription drug plan at reasonable levels.