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Positive vibes from New Brunswick seniors meetings

A positive approach and willingness of physicians, patients and politicians to come together to find innovative solutions to better providing seniors care.

That’s what came to mind when CMA Past President Chris Simpson summarized two days of meetings on seniors care in Fredericton, New Brunswick, the province with one of the largest populations of over 65-year-olds in Canada.

Speaking at a news conference following meetings with local members of the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS), a public dialogue with 220 attendees, and a closed-door meeting of more than 50 stakeholders to consider solutions to seniors care issues in New Brunswick, Simpson talked of the uniqueness of the event.

“It’s been done in a way I haven’t seen done anywhere else in the country,” he said, noting the wide range of stakeholder participants from the Premier to patients. “This has been an inclusive discussion that has been rich and full of good ideas.

“This is the kind of mature and adult discussion we have been wanting to have for some time,” he said, reiterating comments he had made earlier about New Brunswick being well prepared to lead the country to transform the system into one that is better able to care for seniors.

Simpson’s comments were echoed by the provincial health minister, Victor Boudreau, who answered questions at the news conference about the price tag required to provide seniors with the care they need.

Boudreau was quick to note that the best option for older patients – allowing them to live in their homes as long as possible – was also the most economical solution for the government.

In the news conference, Boudreau – who attended the stakeholder meeting with other senior government officials – said there was no one simple solution and that a variety of approaches are needed to ensure older patients receive better support across the continuum of care.

“There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution to help our seniors,” NBMS President Camille Haddad agreed, noting the complexity in managing older patients with multiple chronic conditions.

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