Share your thoughts on Dependable Public Health Care!
In the newest discussion paper released from the minister of health, Hon. Dorothy Shephard, and her team, asking for members of the public and healthcare fields to respond to growing concerns regarding New Brunswick’s health care system. This request could not come at a better time for us as kinesiologists, looking to draw attention to the many ways our services are essential and invaluable to improving health and healthcare in this province. Directly identified in her address, Shephard acknowledges the shortages of available health care practitioners in the province, however she only acknowledges nurses, doctors, and psychologists directly. Given the multidisciplinary nature of our skillset, we have the duty to advise and advocate that we are a profession available to respond to some of these gaps.
“It is time for the people using our system, the people working in our system,community leaders and all levels of government in every corner of the province to come together in a united approach to improve health care.”
Certainly, we cannot resolve all the concerns, however we can provide immense support with our services, to both the public and other services providers. This document simply identifies what we feel as a board, may help you gather your thoughts and organize your response. We have organized the document to highlight they key areas of discussion and have presented our thoughts on how you could respond.
We encourage you to read the document yourself and answer to what you feel will help advance our profession. The opportunity to respond and express your concerns is not limited to the points we have highlighted here, and we urge you to address your concerns regarding kinesiology services in New Brunswick. You may not feel you have answers to all the questions we have highlighted below, but we hope you take the time to address a few of the ones that stand out to you. As the minister of health encourage front-line health professionals to share their views and experiences by writing to the healthdepartment at firstname.lastname@example.org. All the information collected will be considered in the development of a five-year provincial health plan.
DEPENDABLE HEALTH CARE
In this document, the author identifies a dependable health care system as one that:
- Optimizes population health and well-being;
- Provides quality, patient-centered care, starting with access;
- Improves addiction and mental health outcomes;
- Improves the care and service experience of our seniors;
- Provides innovative care using digital technologies; and
- Maintains and invests in facilities, technology and equipment.
The questions prevented in this section are the following:
- What kind of services should be available in your community to help you stay healthy?
- What health services do you need to have close to home?
- What health services are you comfortable accessing virtually?
Identify key points in how you feel kinesiology services may address these concerns. A few examples of how kinesiology services have helped your clients address these issues personally would be an asset here. It may be useful to identify how the kinesiology services you offer may address these concerns, and how you feel you are able to provide these services as a health care professional. In addition, you could point out how you feel about restrictions to offering your services due to regulation.
Some questions outlined in the document are the following:
- What barriers do you encounter when trying to be healthier?
- What do you know about the programs and services available in your community to help you maintain your health?
- How does your community support its vulnerable members?
- How can the provincial government support you in your efforts to live a healthier lifestyle?
- What does your community need to help its population be healthier?
Here, express some common themes you see in your work as a kinesiologist. Express how your kinesiology services may provide resolution to these concerns, and what your barriers are as a kinesiologist to provide these services.
PATIENT ORIENTED CARE
This discussion paper highlights the importance of quality patient-oriented care, addressing the New Brunswick Health Council Act, stating that quality has been defined to have six dimensions:
- Accessibility: The ability of patients/clients to obtain care/service at the right place and the right time, based on respective needs, in the official language of their choice.
- Appropriateness: Care/service provided is relevant to the patients’/clients’ needs and based on established standards.
- Effectiveness: Care/service, intervention or action achieves the desired results.
- Efficiency: The desired results are achieved with the most cost-effective use of resources.
- Equity: Quality care/service is provided to all, regardless of individual characteristics and circumstances.
- Safety: Potential risks of an intervention or the environment are avoided or minimized.
It would be ideal for you to describe how your services can respond to any or each of the stated dimensions, and when applicable, what barriers exist for you and your services.
ADDICTIONS AND MENTAL HEALTH
Questions highlighted in this document:
- If you have sought services from a community mental health clinic, was the clinic able to meet your needs?
- How long did you wait to be seen?
- Have you ever explored what other services are available in your community?
- If an application were developed, what types of services and information would you be looking for?
Here, it may be pertinent to consider how kinesiology services may be integrated into the multidisciplinary approach to managing a person’s mental health. This may be from a personal or professional perspective.
Specifically indicated in this document, “New Brunswick needs to be proactive and continue to build a healthier overall population by implementing policy decisions that make it easier for New Brunswickers to make healthy choices, including not smoking, eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. This will in turn lead to a healthier senior population who are able to stay in their homes longer”.
This is an invitation to clearly state how kinesiology services are necessary for this population to improve health care and reduce costs.
They did not ask any questions here, and it is up to us as a profession to address this gap. What are the concerns for seniors accessing these services? Provide your professional insight to the services seniors can benefit from and the impact Kinesiologists can provide to reduce the effects of unhealthy aging in the province.
COVID-19 RELATED CONCERNS
In this document, the authors have addressed the evolving concerns of the ongoing pandemic. Some questions they are looking to address:
- Have you had access to virtual care since the COVID-19 pandemic began? Were you given a choice between an in-person visit and a virtual visit?
- Were you satisfied with your virtual visit? Would you have preferred an in-person appointment?
- Are you interested in having online access to your health information?
- How often do you use the internet or online applications to get answers to your health questions?
As a kinesiologist, identify how you have adapted your services to COVID-19 restrictions. If possible, identify the barriers your clients perceive to accessing your services- highlighting that they gain benefit from your services, hindered now by COVID-19 restrictions and modified by the delivery methods.
PRIMARY HEALTH CARE SERVICES
Is this section, some of the primary questions highlighted that are relevant to our services are:
- Would you be willing to be a patient in a team-based practice?
- What do you consider when deciding where to access health-care services (physicians, EDs, etc.)?
- Do you live with a chronic disease? Is it under control?
Here, it could be helpful to identify some of the concerns you see as a kinesiologist. For example, do you feel like you cannot offer services because your clients have not been able to consult their physicians? Do you work with chronic disease populations, and do you feel that having support or a role in their multidisciplinary team could help improve their outcomes and reduce the burden of other healthcare professionals, and improve the outcomes for your clients?