Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers pledged his full support for New Brunswickers affected by devastating cuts to hospitals around the province.
He also promised to reverse the cuts and reopen emergency rooms under a Liberal government.
“These cuts are wrong. They put people served by these hospitals at risk,” Vickers said. “It is another assault on rural New Brunswick by the Higgs government.”
Vickers also slammed the government for not consulting with New Brunswickers before making these ill- advised changes.
“There has been absolutely no consultation with local citizens. People have been blindsided. That’s unacceptable. To me, what people think in communities in all corners of the province matters. That’s why we’ll reopen these emergency rooms if given the chance.”
“It’s sad when we see today the government is spending what is likely hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money on an advertising campaign to try to sell this decision. That money should be going to keeping these ERs open. Instead of buying full page front page newspaper ads after the fact Blaine Higgs and Ted Flemming should have been talking to people before making such a decision.”
Vickers also questioned whether it’s even accurate to call these facilities hospitals any more, if the Higgs government is allowed to execute its plan.
“The hospital beds in these facilities are being transformed into long-term care beds. These hospitals are in essence being transformed into nursing homes with day clinics. It’s going to be harder and harder to attract new families to these communities without reliable quality medical care.”
Vickers said he and the Liberal caucus will continue to pressure the Higgs government to reverse this decision, and urged New Brunswickers to do the same.
“We’re very concerned there are more cuts to come. This has been described as a first wave of changes, and since government has no interest in consulting New Brunswickers we have no idea what’s next. We’re supportive of reforms to health care that will improve services for all New Brunswickers and there are ways we can do that. We’re against creating a two-tier health care system that punishes people based on where they choose to live.”