Green Party calls for more collaborative care clinics

New Brunswick's Green Party says the provincial government should move faster to create collaborative care clinics across the province.

The party released its proposals for reforming health care on Thursday, the same day the Alward government was unveiling the province's first collaborative care clinic in Miramichi.

Jim Wolstenholme, the Green Party's health critic, says the government needs to move faster to roll out that model province-wide.

"We're recommending that the minister of health establish a timeline and an implementation strategy to ensure that most New Brunswickers have access to collaborative teams of health care professionals within five years, and that this is available to all of us within 10 years," he said.

Earlier this year the Alward government released a plan to improve primary care. One of its goals is to establish teams of family doctors and other health care professionals by 2014.

The new Miramichi Family Health Team, which started as a pilot in 2010, will have six family doctors, two nurses and a clinical care co-ordinator working together to deliver primary care to about 9,000 patients.

The goal is to provide better access, shorter wait times, and improved health outcomes by managing chronic disease and improving co-ordination, Health Minister Ted Flemming stated in a release.

Other health care professionals from the community and hospital will also be part of the team, including dieticians, respiratory therapists, and the zone diabetes case manager.

The Miramichi team model will be used as a template for other centres across the province, Flemming said.

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