Family health teams moving ahead in province

Tribune-Post Staff
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The Department of Health is now accepting letters of interest from family physicians, in select communities, who want to be part of a family health team and provide collaborative team-based care as identified by the health needs assessment of their community. From left: Dr. Aurel Schofield, co-chair of the Primary Health Care Steering Committee and director at the Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick; Liette Clément, representative of the New Brunswick Nurses Association and member of the Primary Health Care Steering Committee; Health Minister Hugh Flemming; Dr. Lynn Hansen, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society; Miguel LeBlanc, executive director of New Brunswick Association of Social Workers and co-chair of the Operations Services Committee.

The Department of Health is now accepting letters of interest from family physicians, in select communities, who want to be part of a family health team and provide collaborative team-based care as identified by the health needs assessment of their community.

“Family health teams will help us to better meet the specific needs of patients in each community,” said Health Minister Hugh Flemming. “They will improve access to care, chronic disease prevention and management, continuous care and health outcomes. To date, a family health team has been established in Miramichi. It is proof that this model is effective and produces improved patient-focused care including after hour's co-ordination, access to allied health professionals and integration of other services like community mental health.”

The requirements for a family health team are:

● a minimum of three full-time equivalent family physicians working in collaboration with registered nurses, nurse practitioners and other allied health professionals;

● an after-hours arrangement, extended hours of services and access to same day and next day appointments;

● access to any health professionals of the team by patients; and

● utilization of the provincial electronic medical record system.

To date, 10 community health need assessments have been completed or are nearing completion. As part of the implementation of the Primary Health Care Framework, all 33 communities as identified by the New Brunswick Health Council, will undergo a health needs assessment.

Organizations: Department of Health, New Brunswick Health Council

Geographic location: Miramichi

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