SAINT JOHN (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 Saint John.

“It is exciting to see all this hard work pay off,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “This nurse practitioner clinic will serve as a crucial piece of the province’s network of health-care excellence.”

Six nurse practitioners have been working out of the clinic operated by Horizon Health Network. 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.

“Horizon is proud to help provide a range of timely, high-quality services for current and future generations of New Brunswickers,” said Jean Daigle, vice-president of community relations for the network. “We are confident that this new clinic will serve our mission and vision, while significantly improving access to care for those in the Greater Saint John Area.”

Patients are being drawn 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.

“As patients are taken off the list, others add their names daily,” said Shephard. “Every step forward is another example of the government’s dedication to ensuring every New Brunswicker has access to high-quality and timely primary care.”