A re-elected Liberal Government will hire more doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to help reduce wait times in New Brunswick.
Gallant announced today that a re-elected Liberal Government will budget to invest in:
- 90 net new doctors;
- 50 net new nurse practitioners;
- 40 net new nurses;
- 80 net new licensed practical nurses; and
- 80 net new resident attendants for nursing homes.
Last Friday, Gallant laid out an aggressive strategy to recruit more healthcare professionals to New Brunswick by working with the New Brunswick Medical Society to actively recruit new doctors and develop better recruitment incentives to attract doctors to the province, particularly in rural areas. A re-elected Liberal Government will also implement the following measures aimed at recruiting more healthcare professionals in New Brunswick:
- Work with partners to increase the number of seats at the medical training programs in Moncton and Saint John;
- Develop and implement a nurse recruitment and retention strategy that builds on the work already completed by a government and stakeholder committee established in December 2017;
- Enhance efforts to train and recruit more paramedics that includes maintaining the additional training seats created within New Brunswick’s community college system, making strategic use of social media and professional associations, maintaining direct contact with educational institutions, and promoting the emergency health services profession within New Brunswick schools. These efforts would be further complemented by the expansion of free second-language training to all New Brunswickers, as announced earlier in the election campaign;
- Provide more generous parental leave to medical professionals and other public servants; and
- Leverage the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program as a means of recruiting more health professionals from outside the country and work with professional associations to expedite the certification process to allow professionals to practice as soon as possible.
“New Brunswickers want and deserve a healthcare system that they can rely on,” added Gallant. “Our efforts to recruit and hire more doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals will improve the overall quality of care in New Brunswick and help ensure that New Brunswickers can access that care in a timely fashion.”
Throughout this election campaign, Gallant has announced a series of investments aimed at improving healthcare wait times in New Brunswick. A re-elected Liberal Government will invest over $100 million in renovations to existing nursing homes over five years and will invest to complete the government’s five-year nursing home plan which calls for the construction of 10 new 60-bed nursing homes and an additional 407 memory care beds. A re-elected Liberal Government will also continue to invest significantly in healthcare infrastructure, pledging to invest $400 million over the course of its next mandate on equipment purchases and upgrades to hospitals. A dedicated $50 million fund over 10 years to invest in rural hospital infrastructure is also part of this larger infrastructure envelope, and rural hospitals would also be eligible to receive funding for projects out of the broader infrastructure fund.
Providing access to quality healthcare in all corners of New Brunswick is one of the most important public services that government provides. Through record investments and an overall health budget increase of 9.8 per cent since 2014, representing $246 million, the Liberal Government has demonstrated its
commitment to quality and accessible healthcare. Beyond making significant investments to healthcare infrastructure around the province, as well as committing to maintain and improve services in rural areas, the Gallant Liberals have made other significant improvements to New Brunswick’s healthcare system:
- The hiring of over 300 new doctors, meaning over 90 net new doctors were added between 2014-2018, bringing New Brunswick’s rate of access to family doctors up to 95 percent, the highest score in the country;
- The empowerment and addition of more healthcare professionals such as nurse practitioners, advanced care paramedics, and midwives; and
- An investment of $75-million and a partnership with the federal government to create an aging pilot program in New Brunswick designed to improve the quality of life of seniors.