FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government and the New Brunswick Medical Society have signed a new four-year physician services master agreement which is intended to enhance access to primary health care in the province.

“Your government knows that the availability and delivery of health-care services have an impact on the quality of life of New Brunswickers,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “Today, we are proud to announce a new four-year agreement with physicians which paves the way for transformative change in our province’s health-care landscape.”

The new physician services master agreement provides for fee-for service and salary increases of one per cent per year for four years, retroactive to April 1, 2016.

In addition to the economic increases, the agreement includes the establishment of a committee to review fee codes which have been significantly impacted by recent technological advances.

“For the first time in our history, all physicians practising in the province -- both fee-for-service physicians and salaried physicians -- were represented at the negotiating table under one formal bargaining process,” said New Brunswick Medical Society President Lynn Murphy-Kaulbeck. “This is a significant achievement for both the medical society and the province.”

The agreement also establishes Family Medicine New Brunswick, a new, collaborative model for family physicians that aims to:

  • improve the recruitment of family doctors;
  • provide New Brunswickers with better access to family doctors, including after hours; and
  • help give family doctors more time for patient care.

Physicians working under the new Family Medicine New Brunswick model will operate under a blended payment model, with about 60 per cent of their payments based upon their patient roster, and the remaining 40 per cent based upon a reduced fee-for-service model.

“This new agreement is a true testament to the passion and vision for change shared by the provincial government and the New Brunswick Medical Society,” said Boudreau. “By enacting change today, we are getting things done to ensure that our province is ready to meet the challenges facing our health-care system in years to come.”