“Since the Higgs Government was first elected in 2018, the state of the healthcare system has deteriorated significantly. More and more healthcare professionals are leaving the province due to poor working conditions, non-competitive salaries compared to other jurisdictions, and unreasonable workloads caused by staffing shortages. How is the Higgs Government addressing these problems? With nothing but vague statements and empty promises.
Minister Shephard at one point said everyone would have a family doctor by the fall of 2021, but the number of New Brunswickers without a primary care physician has grown by over 20,000 to a shocking total of 63,000.
Premier Higgs and Minister Shephard are aware of the problem. They have acknowledged that we’re losing our healthcare professionals yet act like there’s nothing more they can do. Enough is enough! Where is the program guaranteeing all nursing graduates a job in our healthcare system over the next few years? Where are the bursaries and grants to make studying in a healthcare field more appealing? Where are the incentives to keep our healthcare professionals here? Honestly, where is the effort? Where is the urgency? Healthcare professionals are now speaking out against the lack of recruitment and retention efforts from this government.
According to a recent Angus Reid report, only 17% of New Brunswickers think the current government is adequately managing the healthcare system. That is an embarrassingly low score that will hurt our province’s chances at attracting professionals from other jurisdictions.
New Brunswick’s healthcare professionals, policy analysts and residents are telling the Higgs Government they need to do better. The province is in a financial position to invest significantly into real recruitment and retention efforts, but unfortunately for the people of the province, there seems to be a lack of willingness from the Higgs Government.”
Official Opposition critic for Health