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Rebuilding Health Care Together Consultations: What Citizens Have Said

December 5, 2012
For immediate publication
Moncton, NB (NBHC) – The New Brunswick Health Council (NBHC) is releasing a report showcasing what citizens have said during a recent public engagement initiative. In June 2012, the NBHC was mandated by the New Brunswick Minister of Health at the time, Madeleine Dubé, to organize a series of dialogue sessions in collaboration with the Department of Health entitled Rebuilding Health Care Together. A total of nine sessions were hosted by the Minister and moderated by Stéphane Robichaud, CEO of the NBHC, around the province.
After viewing an informational video (http://youtu.be/iVp_8DatO-s) touching on topics ranging from population health to health system sustainability, participants provided their individual perspectives on what they as citizens, communities and the health system can do to ensure better health outcomes. A total of 5,809 individual responses were provided by over 600 New Brunswickers during this initiative, in addition to several online submissions.
 Some of the key themes were personal accountability, education, information and focus on the client. “Participants believe that citizens need to be more accountable for their own health behaviours, and those of their children,” said Mr. Stéphane Robichaud, CEO of the NBHC. “Improved health behaviours can significantly impact the level of chronic condition in our population.” 
Participants expect greater accountability and collaboration within the various health system organizations and also with all government departments. The departments of Health and Education & Early Childhood Development were cited as examples where what is learned in one department should be used to improve services in the other. 
Another key message that resonated province-wide is that citizens want to be better informed regarding where to go for their health needs or issues. This could be achieved through public awareness campaigns and with greater tools to help with navigation in the system. Participants also expect greater accountability from everyone in the health system, with everyone working together with a team-based approach focused on the client. Services should be client-centered, as opposed to provider-centered, thus addressing the “one issue per medical visit” often faced by citizens.  
Participants also called for the health system to be managed more efficiently, by implementing electronic medical records to prevent duplication, for example. Several other suggestions outlined a greater role for communities to play, whether it be in helping seniors get the care they need in their own home or in the improvement of mental health services.
Through this dialogue, citizens and stakeholders alike were able to exchange, New Brunswicker to New Brunswicker, on questions related to the future of health care in the province, in order to better inform the Provincial Health Plan currently under development.
 This report, entitled Rebuilding Health Care Together, Dialogue Sessions: what was said, presents a detailed portrait of the participants, and relates their answers to questions regarding the small changes citizens and communities could make in order to reduce demand on the health system and regarding the better integration of the health system to become more responsive to current demands.  
The full results of these public consultations are available online: http://www.nbhc.ca//what-we-do/citizen-engagement
The NBHC has been established as an independent organization that measures, monitors and evaluates New Brunswick’s health care system performance, population health and to engage citizens in the improvement of health service quality.
New Brunswick Health Council: Christine Paré, 506-869-6714, christine.pare@nbhc.ca