MONCTON (GNB) – A new nurse practitioner clinic aimed at removing New Brunswickers from the wait list for a primary care provider is now officially open in Moncton.

“It is anticipated that each nurse practitioner will build a respective roster of up to 1,000 patients each,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “This means we will be able to remove a total of up to 6,000 Greater Moncton residents off Patient Connect NB.”

A total of six nurse practitioners have been working out of the clinic operated by Vitalité Health Network for more than a year. The team is building their respective patient lists from Patient Connect NB, the provincially managed, bilingual patient registry for New Brunswickers looking for a new primary health-care provider; either a family doctor or nurse practitioner.

“This new clinic will allow us to significantly improve access to care and provide a range of timely, quality services to the entire Greater Moncton area,” said Dr. France Desrosiers, president and chief executive officer of Vitalité Health Network. “We are confident this clinic will serve Vitalité’s mission and vision, while benefiting current and future generations.”

Patient onboarding is being done exclusively through referrals from Patient Connect NB. Those without a family physician or primary care provider are asked not to call or present to the health centre requesting they be accepted as patients. Individuals can only be assigned a provider from this health centre if they are registered, which can be done online.

Patient Connect NB works closely with New Brunswick health-care providers. When a provider requests a list of patients from the wait list, they have 60 days to notify whether they have taken on new patients and if so, how many. These matches are identified as pending. As of April 30, there are more than 9,500 records pending.

“The wait list serves as a snapshot in time and fluctuates daily,” said Shephard. “As work is ongoing to match residents with a primary care provider, there are also New Brunswickers adding their names to the list to connect with a provider. There are up to 2,500 new names from across the province added each month to the wait list.”

This nurse practitioner clinic is one component of the provincial government’s strategy to ensure every New Brunswicker has access to primary care.