March 26, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - There are 169 more physicians practising in New Brunswick now than in October 2006.
"We are keeping the Charter for Change and provincial health plan commitments to help New Brunswickers get access to a family doctor and to the specialists they need," said Health Minister Mary Schryer. "Our record of recruitment shows our success in helping ensure that New Brunswickers receive the right care at the right time."
The net annual increases in physicians during the last three fiscal years have been the largest annual increases since 1994. This year's net increase is projected to match or exceed them.
Since October 2006, there has been a net increase of 81 family practitioners and 88 specialists. More than 1,500 physicians are practising in the province - 736 family practitioners and 801 specialists.
Schryer said that the Department of Health is also committed to continuing to foster an environment of recruitment and retention of physicians in all regions of the province. A physician resource management committee that will involve representatives from key stakeholder organizations is being established this spring. It will provide advice regarding the supply, distribution and overall management of physician resources
"With the distributed medical education program in Moncton and the one coming to Saint John, the province is well-positioned to continue building on its record of attracting and retaining new doctors," said Schryer.
The provincial government is collaborating with Dalhousie University to establish the new distributed medical education program in Saint John. The university has confirmed that placements have been offered to 30 New Brunswick students to participate in the new program, which opens in September.
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 above the national average of 85 per cent.
MEDIA CONTACT: Hilary Casey, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.