For immediate release – Overnight ER closures in six hospitals means New Brunswickers in some communities will be over an hour away from help when sick or hurt.
Overnight closures of ERs in Sussex, Sackville, Perth-Andover, Grand Falls, Caraquet, and Sainte-Anne-de-Kent will leave some New Brunswickers 95 kms away from the closest hospital. Currently, 47% of New Brunswickers reside in rural areas.
“Closing these ERs doesn’t mean people won’t get hurt or sick at night. It just means they’ll have to travel long distances to an already-crowded emergency room,” said UMNB Executive Director Margot Cragg.
“These hospitals provide quality care at a proportionally small percentage of the budget of the two health authorities. These changes could mean high human costs for small savings. We need strong hub hospitals, supported by rural hospitals and community medical centres that ensure every New Brunswicker gets help when they urgently need it, regardless of where they live.”
UMNB’s member municipalities passed a resolution supporting rural hospitals at UMNB’s AGM in October 2019. Read Resolution U-19-02.
“Our population is aging, and the province has said they want folks to be able to age in place, in the communities they love. That’s hard if urgent medical help is farther and farther away,” said Cragg.
UMNB supports the province’s efforts to increase immigration to 1% per year and efforts to attract the professionals needed to support vital public services. UMNB is seeking a meeting with the Health Minister to discuss ways to make sure all citizens have the health care they need, when they need it.
The Union of the Municipalities of New Brunswick represents 60 member municipalities of all sizes and both official languages, representing over one third of New Brunswick’s population.
For more information, please contact:
Margot Cragg, UMNB Executive Director, (506) 476-5641, email@example.com