MONCTON (GNB) – Patients without a family doctor or nurse practitioner will soon have access to a new primary care network to make sure they have access to primary care services.

The network is an initiative in the new provincial health plan, which will be unveiled later this week.

“Every resident should be able to access the primary health care they need at the right time, in the right place, by the right provider,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “Insufficient access to primary care is one of the most significant challenges our health-care system is currently facing.”

Starting in early 2022, patients registered with Patient Connect NB will be able to schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with a family doctor or nurse practitioner. Over time, the network will expand to a more interdisciplinary model providing access to a wide range of health professionals and services, such as pharmacists and mental health practitioners.

Patient Connect NB is the province’s bilingual patient registry for New Brunswickers without access to a primary health-care provider. Currently, more than 40,000 New Brunswickers are waiting to be assigned to a primary care provider.

This week, the provincial government will release its new health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action. The plan will outline a path forward, intended to stabilize and rebuild New Brunswick’s health-care system to be more citizen-focused, efficient, accountable, inclusive and service-oriented.