New Brunswick’s physicians call for more investment in health care


New Brunswick’s physicians call for more investment in health care

October 4, 2023

FREDERICTON – According to an Angus Reid Institute survey released in August 2023, 75 per cent of New Brunswickers say more public dollars need to flow into the healthcare system. New Brunswick’s physicians agree.

“Nothing matters more than our health,” said Dr. Paula Keating, New Brunswick Medical Society president. “A strong healthcare system is the foundation of a prosperous, vibrant province. Without it, our province will not reach its full potential.”

Since 2012, health care budgets in New Brunswick have not kept pace with the rising cost of care. In the 2023-2024 provincial budget, the government increased the healthcare budget by over 10 per cent, but that is not enough to catch up on over a decade of underspending.

Recent data by the Canadian Institute for Health Information indicates that on a per person basis, New Brunswick’s investment in health and senior care was projected to be the lowest in Canada in 2022. If New Brunswick spent as much on health care per person as Nova Scotia, our yearly budget for health and senior care would need to increase by $1 billion.

“Successive governments have tried to cut their way to a more efficient and effective healthcare system. It hasn’t worked,” Keating said. “On the front lines, physicians feel this every day. Our social fabric is beginning to tear. Patients do not have confidence that emergency care will be there when they need it. Health professionals are burning out and essential technology is well past its expiry date.”

The Angus Reid Institute study was conducted in partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. The national online survey was conducted from Aug. 1-8, 2023, among a randomized sample of 5,010 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. Other New Brunswick data in the Angus Reid Institute survey included:

  • 63 per cent of New Brunswickers lack confidence that they could get timely care in an emergency,
  • 55 per cent of New Brunswickers believe the provincial government is not making health care enough of a priority, and
  • 63 per cent of New Brunswickers believe the federal government is not making health care enough of a priority.

The NBMS agrees with New Brunswickers that the healthcare system needs both investment and change. Increased investment would reduce wait times and improve quality and access to care. Solutions are required to address the workforce shortage and seniors who can’t live at home need access to long-term care beds.  Investments are also needed to address the social determinants of health, including innovative housing, nutrition, and affordable transportation.

“The NBMS stands ready to collaborate with government and other stakeholders in solving the challenges our system is facing,” Keating said. “The situation is urgent. Time is short and investment is needed now to address key pain points in our system.”



Media Contact

Nora Lacey
New Brunswick Medical Society