Government eliminating physician billing number system28 September 2019
MONCTON (GNB) – The provincial government is eliminating the physician billing number system.
“We are fulfilling our commitment to abolish the physician billing number system and we will work together with our health-care professionals to provide better access to primary care services,” said Health Minister Hugh J. Flemming. “The physician billing number system no longer works for the province. It is flawed because it restricts the number of physicians practising, restricts the mobility of physicians and impedes recruitment.”
Flemming made the announcement during the New Brunswick Medical Society’s annual general meeting in Moncton today.
“The New Brunswick Medical Society has long advocated for the elimination of billing numbers and we are encouraged that the government has followed up on our recommendation,” said Dr. Serge Melanson, president of the Medical Society. “The billing number system has not proven effective in recruiting physicians in any region of the province, rural or urban, and its restrictive nature has actually proven to deter some physicians from practising in the province. We believe this significant change and a more robust physician resource plan will signal to interested physicians that New Brunswick is a great place to set up a practice.”
The Department of Health will phase out the billing number system for both general practitioners and specialists over the next few months, aiming to complete the process by Dec. 15, 2019.
A new physician resource management plan is being developed by the New Brunswick Medical Society, the regional health authorities and the Department of Health. It will focus on establishing an alternative to the billing number system, a rural recruitment strategy and an accountability framework to support improved access to primary care.
Dependable public health care is one of the government’s key priorities. To find out more about the government’s priorities and measurements visit www.gnb.ca/PerformanceNB.28-09-19