Feb. 10, 2009
MILLIDGEVILLE (CNB) - A new satellite of the St. Joseph's Community Health Centre will be providing wellness programs primarily to francophone residents in greater Saint John.
Health Minister Michael Murphy attended the official opening of the Médisanté Saint John at the Centre communautaire Samuel-de-Champlain today.
"The wellness of this community's francophone residents will be promoted, and pressures on the health-care system will be reduced as a result of the Médisanté," Murphy said. "This new facility serves both to enhance the quality and accessibility of health services in Millidgeville and to promote the sustainability of the health-care system provincewide."
The St. Joseph's Community Health Centre is providing a nurse and administrative support to the Médisanté, as it is also recruiting a nurse practitioner and a family medicine physician. It is expected that a community developer will join the staff by early March. The Médisanté and the nurse practitioner will work with the community health centre to provide primary health-care services to patients.
The Médisanté is accepting names of patients without a family medicine physician who wish to receive care in French, so that a patient roster will be ready when a doctor has been recruited.
The minister was accompanied by Michel Côté, executive director, Association Régionale de la Communauté francophone de Saint-Jean Inc.; Éric Poirier, vice-président, Association Régionale de la Communauté francophone de Saint-Jean Inc.; Donald J. Peters, president and chief executive officer, Regional Health Authority B; John Laidlaw, chair of the board of directors; and Fonda Kazi, vice-president, Community and Primary Health Care Services, Regional Health Authority B.
"The goal of this project is to offer primary health-care services mainly to the local francophone community," Poirier said. "In addition to primary health-care providers, patients may obtain access to health promotion and wellness programs and services. The project is an example of co-operation between two communities."
By means of Telehealth, patients at the Médisanté will be able to obtain access to programs and expertise available in other centres and in other parts of the province.
"I am pleased that this partnership will also allow for enhancement of Regional Health Authority B's capacity to deliver health care in a patient's official language of choice and will serve to strengthen our relationship with the francophone community in Saint John," Peters said.
The Médisanté will also have space for offices and treatment delivery that other health professionals may rent.
The establishment of Médisanté is the result of a partnership among the Department of Health, Regional Health Authority B, the Association Régionale de la Communauté francophone de Saint-Jean Inc., and Health Canada. The need for the facility was identified in 2001 when the association conducted a survey to determine the local French community's health-care priorities.
"The focus of this facility is health promotion and wellness programming, which are key strategies of our provincial health plan," Murphy said. "Encouraging positive lifestyle choices and preventing illness are vital to ensuring that the health-care system will be sustainable for New Brunswickers on our journey to self-sufficiency."
Enhancing access to health services is a focus of Transforming New Brunswick's Health-care System: the Provincial Health Plan, 2008-2012, released in April 2008.
MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.