Tag: Brunswick

Why some health-care professionals in Canada are prescribing nature to patients – New Brunswick

A growing number of health professionals in Canada are writing a new kind of prescription that doesn’t need to be filled at a pharmacy.

“I think that it is one of the simplest and easier prescriptions that a doctor could do,” said nature guide Heather Fraser, who owns Exploring Nature’s Bounty in Moncton, N.B.

PaRx is Canada’s national nature prescription program, which was launched in B.C. in 2020, said Dr. Melissa Lem, its director. The initiative was started by the BC Parks Foundation and is being supported by health-care professionals who want to improve their patients’ health by connecting them to nature, she said.

The program has since spread to every province in the country, recruiting more than 11,000 health professionals across Canada who are now recommending nature time to their patients, Lem said.

“Whether you are a doctor, nurse, physiotherapist or psychologist, you can literally prescribe nature time to improve your patients’ health,” she said.

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Health-care providers in Canada are prescribing 30,000 scripts per month, according to Lem.

Her recommendation is to spend at least two hours in nature per week, with sessions lasting at least 20 minutes at a time.

Fraser said she is eager to get involved in the program in New Brunswick by taking patients out for their dose of nature therapy.

“It is that serenity, that peace; it takes away all the stress. When you are out here, you can be quiet if you want. The birds are in the trees, too. It is the sound and peacefulness that you have when you are out in nature,” Fraser said.

The health benefits of getting grounded in nature,

Waiting periods for counselling in N.B. 3 times the national average: data – New Brunswick

A snapshot report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows that only 60 per cent of Canadians reported their health was good, compared with 72 per cent just two years ago.

Data shows that the Atlantic provinces reported a higher proportion of the population saying primary care providers weren’t taking new patients.

The report also showed New Brunswick has an average wait time of 66 days for mental health counselling, three times the national average, which is 22 days.

It comes against the backdrop of both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick’s health-care systems facing enormous strain and staffing shortages.

“These are long-standing challenges for the health-care system, it’ll take time for the data to catch up with the efforts and the measurement to change,” said Kathleen Morris, vice-president of research and analysis with CIHI.

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She said some of the numbers are significant, including that 27 per cent of Canadians diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder have not had their mental health needs met.

“It’s a tough situation,” she said in an interview Wednesday. “We know mood and anxiety disorders are a big piece of mental health but they are not the only illnesses … and they are looking to try and increase the range of mental health conditions.”

The report also showed there was 13 per cent reduction in surgeries in New Brunswick during the first two-and-a-half years of COVID-19.

It was lower in Nova Scotia at nine per cent.

Alexandra Rose with the Nova Scotia Health Coalition said this has all led to a compounded strain on the health-care system.

She said it cannot keep pace with the aging population and the population that is now seeing health decline in addition to a global pandemic.

“It’s put a massive strain on an already

N.B. health-care workers applaud extra pay, coalition calls for pay equity – New Brunswick

Special care homes are applauding a move by the provincial government in providing a pay increase for personal support workers.

The budget allocated $44.9 million for pay increases. The money will be used to give a $2.50 an-hour increase to special care home workers and home support workers, who were previously earning $16.50 and $17.50, respectively.

One special care home just outside the Fredericton region told Global News that finding personal support workers has become increasingly difficult with the lack of wages for workers.

Owner Cristie Dykeman said that many smaller homes struggle to compete in recruiting and retaining workers.

Read more:

N.B. seniors advocate launches review of long-term care system

The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity said that pay for personal support workers should be somewhere around $25/hour, noting that pay is nearly $6 an hour short of that.

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“Sometimes people drop out of the workforce because that’s the only way they can make it happen,” told Johanne Perron from the group.

“In a time when we struggle so much with the labour shortage. We need to support them.”

Working conditions, effort and education requirements were all cited as a lack of will to get into the industry, and according to the group, pay needs to be higher to fix the industry.

She said the increase will help in keeping up with inflation, noting this can prevent workers from dropping out of the workforce.

While more pay for those workers is applauded, the coalition said that they would have liked to see more money invested into Support Services Programs Workers, Crisis Interveners and Family Support Workers.


New Brunswick seeks nurses from Quebec amid health-care worker shortage

New Brunswick is using hefty signing bonuses and a plethora of benefits to attract nurses from Quebec and other provinces.

Horizon Health, a health authority that delivers medical care on behalf of the New Brunswick government, held a hiring event at a Montreal-area hotel on Tuesday.

The event sought to draw nurses interested in working in New Brunswick with an offer that includes the promise of up to $10,000 in signing bonuses, up to $5,000 in relocation costs and other benefits.

New Brunswick is not the only province vying for nurses. A widespread shortage of health-care workers increasingly has provinces competing with one another to attract qualified nurses, but experts say poaching workers from elsewhere in Canada will not address the root cause of staffing shortages.

Kerry Kennedy, director of talent acquisition with Horizon Health Network, said the Montreal event was not a job fair but was targeting nursing candidates who had expressed interest in working in New Brunswick.

“We’re all in a candidate-driven market and trying to do the best that we can to recruit and retain the nurses that we have,” she said, adding that New Brunswick’s low cost of living and good work-life balance were among the reasons that health-care workers could be drawn to the province. 

Trees at Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. Horizon Health Network cites New Brunswick’s natural beauty and proximity to the ocean as one reason nurses might be drawn to work in the province. (Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Horizon Health Network is holding similar events across the country, in Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto. Kennedy said the first 120 applicants will receive customized treatment and help to move to New Brunswick.

That “custom” treatment could include help paying for lodging or assistance with a partner finding a new job

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