FREDERICTON – Green Party MP Jenica Atwin (Fredericton) says proposed sweeping changes to the health care system in New Brunswick are indicative of the challenges facing New Brunswick’s health system.
Challenges in Canada include an aging population and an increasingly urban population.
“These changes will disproportionately affect people living in rural communities,” said Atwin. “NB needs a federal health transfer that is based on the province’s demographic realities, taking into account both our aging and rural population.”
This week, the provincial government announced plans to close the emergency departments of six small rural hospitals during overnight hours, shifting beds from acute to long-term care.
Provincial health statistics show that 28 percent of serious accidents and urgent mental health cases occur between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. People in these communities will now have to travel up to 75 kilometers to receive emergency care during the night.
“The federal government has a responsibility to make sure that Canadians receive comparable health care across Canada,” said Atwin. “New Brunswick faces demographic challenges that must be accounted for in the federal health transfer. The federal budget about to be tabled should include this consideration.”