New Brunswick’s Official Opposition is calling on the Higgs Government to address troubling questions around the plan to move seniors awaiting a permanent long-term placement from hospitals to emergency long-term care beds.
“New Brunswickers are concerned about the implications of this plan and how it could affect their loved ones currently waiting for long-term care placement, or already in a long-term care home” says Robert Gauvin, Official Opposition critic for Social Development. “The long-term care system is already strained, what has Government done to ensure that they are able to take on this additional workload without becoming overwhelmed? What additional resources can the long-term care system count on from the Higgs Government?”
Premier Higgs has indicated that 160 emergency care beds have been identified throughout the province, primarily in special care homes.
“There is so little detail about where seniors are being transferred and how family members can ensure they are receiving the high-quality care they need and deserve. In recent years we’ve seen more and more reports off inadequate care and bad conditions in certain facilities, people are concerned for their loved-ones” says Gauvin. “I hope Government is acting in the best interest of the seniors, but I have my concerns. The Higgs Government has tried to save money on the backs of the vulnerable in the past, the pilot project with a special care home group that came to light in 2020 still troubles me.”
The Official Opposition critic for the Attorney General, Rob McKee, says clarity is needed around a specific section of the Emergency Measures Order that shields government from judicial review and from civil liability. “Is Government saying it will take no responsibility should something happen to a senior after they’ve put them in the special care home? This is a very broad statement that could have wide implications and must be clarified immediately” says McKee.