Paramedic Association of New Brunswick supports system integration
Healthcare in New Brunswick is ready for an overhaul. Many experts have testified that the current system is not sustainable in its present form. We all know that the utilization of health care services will increase in the coming decade due to the changing demographic of health care users.
The current model of healthcare delivery is not perfect, so we should embrace each opportunity for improvement. Not surprisingly, opposition exists. Even when presented with irrefutable evidence that maintaining status quo of healthcare in NB is unsustainable, many people are afraid to begin introducing change. For some reason, we are afraid of this change and are still tied to existing programs.
Such is the case with the recent government decision on the integration of the Extra Mural, Telecare 811 and Ambulance NB programs. Government’s overall stated goal is the reduction of duplication, the collaboration of health services over multi-faceted health teams, and to provide the right care, to the right patient, at the right time, in the right location. We think it is very important to accept that the current systems separately are good, and we should be proud of them. However, we strongly support initiatives that will improve patient access to quality medical care in New Brunswick.
Through the proposed integration, these existing programs will help eliminate silos. Currently, each health care provider approaches a patient with their own set of skills, and tracks the progress of treatment. Nursing does their work, paramedics do their work, and nobody seems to work together. This is something that needs to be fixed. With accountability and transparency, governance (which includes public oversight), and multi-disciplinary medical leadership, this proposed integration model can lead us in shaping other areas of the health care system.
We should all step back, and embrace this change. Let’s give Government a chance to overhaul the system, and then we can evaluate them against the stated goals. If implemented correctly, we are sure the benefits will allow us to continue to deliver top quality care to the residents of New Brunswick.
While we will continue to support any Government that takes steps to reform healthcare for the better, we also will hold any Government accountable to ensure that the operational implementation complements the stated objectives.
The concept is great, let’s implement it properly.
President, Paramedic Association of New Brunswick