New program testing to lessen the strain on emergency care in New Brunswick

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The following article was submitted in partnership with the COM X program which gives students in Communications Studies the opportunity to work as an intern at The Baron.

New Brunswick residents are facing nearly unbearable wait times to receive primary care, which is becoming an issue that many say can no longer be ignored.

(Joe McDonald/CBC)

A solution is being tested to effectively cut down on wait times in primary care facilities, and has had promising results thus far.

In Moncton, a program is being used to assist people enrolled in the Patient Connect NB by providing “access to a network of family doctors and nurse practitioners” said Jeremy Trevors in a recent article published by the New Brunswick government (GNB). 

How Can This Help

The goal of the program is to provide quick access to quality care to those without a primary care provider. According to a survey performed by the GNB, out of about 14,000 individuals in New Brunswick, over 60% of residents are living without a family doctor. 

Giving more easily accessible health care will aid in lowering wait times in the hospitals and in after hour clinics. NB Health Link is equipped to provide in-person appointments along with online and telephone consultations as well in both english and french. 

A toll-free number, 1-833-354-2300, is provided that can be used or an online portal that will assess the severity of the situation and provide opportunities to book an in-person or online appointment based on the outcomes of the initial triage. 

According to Medavie Health Services NB, medical professionals that participate in the program are “able to prescribe medications, order tests, and make referrals for specialized care” much like primary care providers.

All information and outcomes from appointments are tracked in a centralized health record that is able to be accessed by health care professionals in order to follow the patient with ease through their medical journey. 

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

How To Register

An individual looking to receive care through the NB Health Link program must also be enrolled in the Patient Connect NB registry. Patient Connect NB is essentially a wait list to be provided a permanent doctor. Once on the list to wait for a care provider, the NB Health Link is accessible here.

Where/When is it Accessible 

It is currently being used in the Moncton region, but there are plans to expand it to the Fredericton and Campbellton region in the foreseeable future and will hopefully become a provincial service. Any requests for care that are outside of the Moncton region will be provided a service number that can be accessed that is in the same region as the patient.

The NB Health Link is operating Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am-4pm.