SAINT JOHN (GNB) – Twenty-five new specialists will be added to the provincial healthcare system. Recruitment will begin immediately with a goal of filling all positions this fiscal year.
“Strengthening the delivery and accessibility of healthcare is important to the quality of life of New Brunswick families,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “Adding more specialists to the system will reduce health care wait times.”
Gallant and New Brunswick Medical Society President Dr. Dharm Singh made the announcement today in Saint John.
“These new specialist positions will help the province provide optimal care and support for New Brunswick’s aging population and enhance access to care overall,” said Singh. “Hiring more specialists also helps create a better work-life balance for physicians as the current shortages can create workload issues.”
The distribution of the doctors will be based upon current vacancies, priorities identified by the regional health authorities and the Department of Health.
Adding 25 new specialists represents an estimated annual investment of $16 million. In addition to hiring more medical specialists, the government recently announced the addition of 25 new family doctors to the provincial health-care system for a total of 50 new doctors which represents a total investment of $31 million annually.
In the past three years, 323 physicians have been hired. This has resulted in a net increase of 90 physicians, of which 44 are family physicians and 46 are specialists.
The Department of Health’s budget increased by 3.7 per cent, bringing it up to $2.75 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The department’s budget has increased 9.8 per cent since 2014-15.
This funding will support the provincial government’s priorities as set out in the New Brunswick Family Plan, which aims to improve the health of all New Brunswickers.