New Brunswick conducting healthcare consultations

‘The future of our health-care system depends upon the actions we take in the coming months’

New Brunswick conducting healthcare consultations
The province is developing a new five-year health plan.

New Brunswick is seeking public input on the current healthcare system challenges in the province and what a possible sustainable system could look like.

New Brunswickers are encouraged to share their feedback on the questions posed in Striving for Dependable Public Health Care: A discussion paper on the future of health care in New Brunswick by emailing [email protected]. The feedback received will be factored into the government’s development of a new five-year provincial health plan.

“In my short time as minister, one thing has become very clear to me: the demands being placed on our health-care system and on the people working in it are extraordinary,” said Dorothy Shephard, minister of health. “I am committed to creating a better health-care system and to listening to any and all ideas about how that can be accomplished.”

The Department of Health compiled the report in preparation for a virtual provincial engagement tour in which it will discuss with medical professionals, community leaders and the public the challenges facing the province’s health-care system and receive their input.

Nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) of Canadians agree that there's a need to improve the capacity of the health care system, be it through more beds, personal protective equipment, medical staff, or hospitals and clinics, according to an Ipsos poll carried out on behalf of the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI). The report was released in November 2020.

Shephard will make virtual stops in about a dozen communities around the province, including the six communities impacted by the proposed changes last winter. There will also be separate sessions held for First Nations communities, front-line healthcare workers and professional associations.

In order to respect the current COVID-19 situation, all community sessions will be held online using Zoom. Anyone interested in attending a virtual session will be able to register to attend. The engagement tour schedule will be released in the coming weeks.

“We are currently living the reality that comes from not taking action: a system that does not meet the needs of patients, is a frustrating place to work for health professionals and one that most certainly will decline without improvement,” said Shephard. “The future of our health-care system depends upon the actions we take in the coming months.”