Friday, March 12, 2021

Investments in public sector health care needed in New Brunswick

The New Brunswick Health Coalition is urging the provincial government to make much needed investments in the public health care system as it begins its public consultation process.
“The pandemic has demonstrated just how valuable the public health care system is not just for New Brunswickers, but across the country,” said NB Health Coalition co-chair Abram Lutes. “Investment in the system now will have a tremendous impact on the lives of New Brunswickers both immediately and into the future.”
The coalition has three priority areas it wants to see addressed by government:
• Keeping the system in public hands with no privatization of services in any form,
• investments in recruitment and retention efforts; and
• investments in preventative care.
Keeping services in public hands – keeping the private sector out of healthcare is imperative. Putting profits before people have always been a recipe for disaster. Keeping the system public and improving upon it should always be the goal as it allows for equitable healthcare for all. We were able to weather the pandemic relatively well because of the public system providing access and information, but we know there are cracks showing that must be addressed.
Recruitment and Retention – in order to provide better care, our public health system needs to be properly staffed and resourced. Between cuts by successive governments, workers leaving for better situations in other provinces and other issues, our system is stretched thin. This is difficult in normal times, but during a pandemic and post-COVID, we need this to change. To achieve better and timely health care for all New Brunswickers, government needs to assure proper staffing levels. This means increased efforts and investment in recruitment and retention, so we stem the tide of workers leaving for positions in neighbouring provinces due to better salaries and work conditions.
Preventative Care – we want to see New Brunswickers living healthier lifestyles. This will ease the burden on the health system and, long-term, free up funds for other health related projects. There are many ways to implement preventative care models including team practices which feature a combination of doctors, nurse practitioners, dieticians, physiotherapists, and other health professionals. Having access to this well-rounded group means New Brunswickers would get better education, advice, and treatment. This is just one example but preventing health problems before they start is perhaps the best way to improve our system.
“We believe these three items can help us improve the system for those accessing its services as well as those working within it,” said NB Health Coalition co-chair Lydia Jaillet. “We’re also encouraging all New Brunswickers to take part in the consultations. We know those looking to profit off our system will be there, so we need people to take part and represent the everyday New Brunswickers who want an improved system for their communities.”
The New Brunswick Health Coalition is made up of several groups including the New Brunswick Nurses Union, the New Brunswick Union, CUPE New Brunswick, New Brunswick Council of Hospital Unions, Canadian Labour Congress, New Brunswick Federation of Labour, New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions and the Common Front for Social Justice.
MEDIA CONTACT: Abram Lutes, co-chair of the NB Health Coalition, (506) 855-8977, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Lydia Jaillet, co-chair of the NB Health Coalition, (506) 229-6011.