144 more doctors practising in New Brunswick since October 2006 (09/10/26)

NB 1668

Oct. 26, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - There are 144 more physicians practising in New Brunswick now than in October 2006.

In addition, more than 40 doctors have committed to starting practices in the province between now and March 31, 2010.

"We are keeping our Charter for Change commitment to helping New Brunswickers get access to a family doctor and the specialists they need," said Health Minister Mary Schryer. "Our record of recruitment shows our success in ensuring New Brunswickers receive the right care at the right time."

The net annual increases in physicians during the last two fiscal years have been the largest annual increases since 1994. This year's net increase is projected to match or exceed this achievement.

Since October 2006, there has been a net increase of 67 family practitioners and 77 specialists. More than 1,500 physicians are practising in the province - 735 family practitioners and 778 specialists.

Schryer noted that improving access to specialists is key to reducing wait times for surgery and other treatments.

"With the medical education program in Moncton and the one coming to Saint John next September, the province is well positioned to continue building on its record of attracting and retaining new doctors," said Schryer.

In the provincial health plan, the government is committed to adding at least 100 new billing numbers by 2012. The government has added more than 50 so far.

According to Statistics Canada, 91 per cent of New Brunswickers reported having regular access to a family doctor. This is the third-highest percentage of any province or territory, and it is well above the national average of 85 per cent.


MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.