Election 2020: Health care has never been more important
With a global pandemic as the backdrop to a provincial election, the health of New Brunswickers has never been more important. The New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS) is calling on all political parties and candidates to make health care the top priority of their campaign platforms in the 2020 provincial election.
“New Brunswickers continue to face many challenges when trying to access timely health-care services,” says Dr. Chris Goodyear, president of the NBMS. “For too long, our health system has remained stagnant. Now is the time for bold, tangible change to improve access to care for all citizens. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that when faced with unprecedented challenge, government and health-care professionals can work together to respond to the needs of citizens.”
New Brunswick’s health system continues to struggle with a shortage of health-care professionals and hospital beds and some of the longest wait times for surgeries and emergency care in the country. With one of the oldest populations in Canada, New Brunswick also has some of the highest rates of chronic health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. More than 30,000 New Brunswickers are without a primary care physician, and there is a critical shortage of mental health and addictions resources.
The NBMS is calling for increased health-care spending to account for inflation, increasing costs associated with senior care, and overall system growth; the creation of a robust health human resource strategy and the hiring of 300 new physicians over the next four years; enhanced primary care access including the development of a virtual care strategy; and maintaining strong leadership in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We can no longer afford to continue applying bandages to our health-care system,” says Dr. Goodyear. “Physicians and other health-care professionals work tirelessly to provide care in a system that simply does not meet the needs of its patients. We need a renewed provincial health plan that takes a holistic view of the health system with tangible objectives to align the services provided around the province with the needs of our population.”
For full details on the NBMS’s plan to improve health care, Health care has never been more important, please visit nbms.nb.ca.
Founded in 1867, the NBMS is the professional association representing all physicians in New Brunswick. It has a two-part mission: to represent and service all practising and future physicians in the province, and to advocate for the health of New Brunswickers.
Eric Lewis, Communications Manager
New Brunswick Medical Society