FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released a new document, A Primary Health Care Framework for New Brunswick, which will serve as the foundation for creating a health-care system that is more responsive to the needs of communities and individuals.

"A Primary Health Care Framework for New Brunswick is a long-term vision that will improve primary health care for people living in New Brunswick today and for future generations," said Health Minister Madeleine Dubé. "This framework will chart the course for moving toward team-based, patient-focused care that results in improved access, improved health outcomes, more comprehensive and continuous care and chronic disease prevention."

The framework was developed by the Primary Health Care Steering Committee, which was created to consider primary health-care renewal.

Based on the recommendations in the framework, the provincial government will:

●    complete 10 community health needs assessments around the province by the spring of 2014;
●    strengthen the integration of current points of service such as community health centres, Mental Health and Addictions and Extra-Mural services with family physician practices;
●    establish family health teams as identified by Community Health Needs Assessments throughout the province by April 2014;
●    create a patient voices network, which will enhance patient-centred care by involving patients in the design of health-care service delivery;
●    establish an electronic medical records system in partnership with the New Brunswick Medical Society;
●    create the Connect NB Unattached Patient Registry by the spring of 2013; and
●    develop an accountability framework by the fall of 2013 to measure performance and clinical outcomes of established family health teams.

"Transforming primary health care in our province is a huge undertaking that will require a cultural shift in how we provide health care, and we recognize that this type of change does not happen overnight," said Dubé. "This framework includes short- and long-term goals that will require strong leadership and collaboration from all parties to achieve. The provincial government is committed to working with health professionals and stakeholders every step of the way to ensure that they are supported and that we move through these changes together."

Various primary health-care renewal activities have been ongoing since the fall of 2010, including a discussion paper that was posted for public comment; stakeholder dialogue meetings; and the primary health care summit held last fall. The major themes of the summit informed the creation of this framework.


●    Department of Health