Government must hire dedicated hospitalists to ease pressure on family doctors

FREDERICTON – With news that a family physician has left New Brunswick because she was unable to work in the hospital, Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon is reiterating his call for the provincial government to fund Horizon and Vitalité to hire dedicated hospitalists to provide care in hospitals.  

“Most people would be surprised to find out that family doctors are required to spend some of their time in hospitals, effectively subsidizing the regional health authorities, to provide care to patients who have been admitted,” said Coon. “Doctors in New Brunswick have told me this is a major recruitment barrier because it detracts from their family practice and causes burnout.”

New Brunswick is the only province where family doctors are required to work in local hospitals in order to bill Medicare for their work in family practice. Coon is also calling on the province to end this practice.

“If we are going to be more successful at recruiting and retaining family physicians, the provincial budget must provide the RHAs with the money to employ hospitalists whose expertise is in acute care, not family medicine,” said Coon. “This will ensure top notch hospital care and better access to family medicine.”