Liberal Leader Roger Melanson is calling upon the Premier and the Minister of Health to postpone the healthcare consultations that the Minister proposed would be completed by the end of March.
“The Minister has announced a public consultation on health at a time when the province and its healthcare workers are trying to deal with Covid-19 pandemic” said Melanson. “Reducing the spread of the virus and keeping New Brunswickers safe should be our first priority at this time. There should also be a focus on a detailed vaccine distribution plan and communicating that plan to the public”
As Melanson also points out, there have been outbreaks of the virus that have caused regions of the province to move into the Orange and Red alert levels and even a lockdown. “How can we possibly think of having what should be one of the most significant public consultations when this is happening around us” said Melanson.
Melanson is concerned that the consultation is being rushed and will not be a meaningful consultation.
“The Premier is known to be very secretive, and now he wants a short consultation period of only 2 months in the middle of a pandemic. There is a lot of public skepticism around this consultation and understandably so” said Melanson. “The fact that healthcare workers were left off the invite list for groups to be consulted is unbelievable. No wonder people think that the fix is in and that these consultations are merely cover for the Premier to bring in health reforms he has already decided on.”
The Opposition Leader is also concerned that we are already in the last week of January and the Minister wants to wrap up the consultations by the end of March. “I am calling upon the Premier and the Minister to postpone these consultations until the public health threat posed by Covid19 is significantly reduced”.