New Brunswick’s Official Opposition is condemning the lack of transparency surrounding the implementation of the Higgs’ Government’s Health Reform after it was determined that the Minister of Health would be the sole spokesperson for the reform.
“I was immediately concerned when I heard that the co-chairs of the province’s health reform were not allowed to speak to media” says the Leader of the Official Opposition, Roger Melanson. “You don’t have to muzzle someone unless you’re afraid of what they have to say. Why such a lack of transparency?”
The Opposition Leader says the need for transparency is even greater now due to the population’s dwindling trust in Government’s ability to properly manage healthcare.
“New Brunswickers have not forgotten how the Higgs Government tried to close emergency rooms overnight in hospitals across the province. They have not forgotten the Minister’s failed promise that everyone would have a family doctor in a matter of months” says Melanson. “This was presented as an important reform; people will not be reassured that Government is on the right track if the only people who can tell them that is government themselves.”
Many hospitals across the province are facing serious staffing shortages which have severe consequences on capacity and lead to high wait times and ambulance discharge times.
“Frankly, we don’t know how the Higgs Government plans to address the serious crisis facing our hospitals because they have yet to announce anything that would actually make a notable difference” says Official Opposition Health Critic, Jean-Claude D’Amours. “The root of the problem is the chronic understaffing of our hospitals yet there is no real focus on recruitment and retention. The few programs or initiatives that have implemented are not nearly enough to compete with our neighbouring provinces.”