Horizon Health announces plans for a new Fredericton primary care centre

Click to play video: 'New N.B. primary health center may cut down doctor waitlist'
New N.B. primary health center may cut down doctor waitlist
WATCH: Thousands of people in New Brunswick are waiting for a family doctor, but plans for a new primary health centre might reduce the waitlist by more than 10 per cent. Anna Mandin reports. – Dec 6, 2023

Horizon Health Network’s interim president and CEO Margaret Melanson said the organization is planning on opening a new primary care centre in Fredericton in 2025.

She said the centre would give at least 10,000 people access to physicians, nurse practitioners and other health-care professionals.

“We have an intent to improve primary care access to residents on the north side of Fredericton,” she said after the organization’s board meeting.

It will be located in a 19,000-square foot space in Brookside Mall. The mall is also the location of an urgent care clinic that opened last month.

Fredericton resident Nicki Lyons-MacFarlane has been without a doctor since August 2020.

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“As someone living with chronic health conditions, it’s kind of a balance, a constant balancing game of trying to manage my symptoms, trying to decide, like when do I have to see a doctor, and when I do have to see one, what are my options for seeing one,” Lyons-MacFarlane said.

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Click to play video: 'N.B. says it will turn to collaborative care clinics to address primary care shortages'
N.B. says it will turn to collaborative care clinics to address primary care shortages

Fourteen per cent of people in New Brunswick, like Lyons-MacFarlane, are waiting for a family doctor.

“I’m hoping at the bare minimum by 2025 that I’ll get to see a primary physician,” Lyons-MacFarlane said.

The province has struggled with doctor recruitment, but Melanson said the centre will serve as an incentive to bring new doctors in.

“We have heard through our medical directors that there is interest in this area, so we are very hopeful as we proceed in the coming months that we will be able to recruit appropriately to be able to offer the services when it’s available,” she said.

She predicts the centre will open in early spring, 2025.

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