New Brunswick easing administrative burden on physicians

Province making it easier for doctors to join Family Medicine New Brunswick collaborative practice model

New Brunswick easing administrative burden on physicians

New Brunswick is helping make professional life easier for doctors in the province.

The provincial government has made changes to forms involving the New Brunswick Medical Society and the departments of Social Development and Health that require physician involvement. The government is removing physician involvement in three instances.

“Doctors have plenty on their plates and we are pleased to work with the New Brunswick Medical Society to take away some of the administrative burden of filling out forms,” said Social Development Minister Jill Green. “Taking this off their plates will give them more time to focus on seeing patients.”

Preventing employers from requiring sick notes is simply not the best way forward for the Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) government, according to its finance minister.

New Brunswick is also:

  • expanding authorization to medical professionals other than a physician in nine instances,
  • streamlining forms and processes in 15 instances, and
  • reducing or removing renewal requirements in 13 instances.

“Every unnecessary government form or sick note is essentially one less primary care visit for patients waiting to be seen, so reducing the amount of paperwork physicians must complete for those patients is invaluable,” said Dr. Paula Keating, president of the society. “This initiative will help alleviate some of the administrative burden on physicians and improve efficiency within our profession, allowing us to focus on patients.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic ending, healthcare workers’ workload continues to be a problem, according to a previous report.

In 2020, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) asked employers to discontinue requiring workers to provide sick notes to be allowed time off work amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

But even prior to that, an employment law expert told HRD Canada that demanding a doctor’s note for every sick day is more trouble than it’s worth – for employers, workers and health professionals.

Family Medicine New Brunswick

New Brunswick is also lifting some financial burden on physicians.

The province is eliminating deductions in pay to Family Medicine New Brunswick practices when one of their patients visits a walk-in clinic.

It is also allowing Family Medicine New Brunswick practices to use other electronic medical record systems. Until now, only one platform could be used, according to the government.

“Addressing these issues is one more concrete way that we are making improvements,” said Bruce Fitch, minister of health. “We are already seeing the impact of the changes we have made.”

Those changes include updates to compensation models for physicians, such as enhancements for physicians who provide services outside daytime hours and on weekends; greater support for hiring nurses; and relief payments to help with practice-related overhead costs, according to the government.

Changes made over the past year have resulted in the number of Family Medicine New Brunswick groups growing to 11 from seven, with more physicians expressing interest in the collaborative practice model, said Fitch.

Canada is experiencing labour shortages in the healthcare sector. Previously, Saskatchewan announced it is investing $51.2 million for 2024-2025 to support new and ongoing expansion of healthcare training across the province.

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