1. Preventative Healthcare
A Green government would adopt preventative healthcare system as a pillar of a sustainable public health system, including the following measures:
focus on preventative measures through activities such as K-12 physical education and outdoor education programs;
levy a junk food tax to encourage healthy food choices;
strengthen pollution regulations and phase in a ban on the release of carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and developmental toxins (affecting hormone, brain and motor, and fetal development) into the air, water or onto land; and
build a more integrated health care system through the expansion of decentralized health care programs with local delivery and governance, such as through community health clinics.
2. Primary Healthcare Reform
Performance improvement is possible in the health system by taking a number of different approaches in the short, medium and long term. A Green government would develop and implement a comprehensive performance improvement plan based on the following considerations:
o There is no single simple one-time solution,
o There will be opportunities for improvement in the short- (new fiscal year), medium- (1-3 years), and long- (on-going) terms,
o It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel; substantial “best-practice” performance information is readily available,
o Change can be evolutionary and avoid public alarm,
o Four main improvement categories:
- effectiveness/cost-effectiveness/value for money,
- performance management, and
Further, a Green government would:
• Ensure the accountability of leaders (Premier, Minister, senior officials and RHA Board and CEOs) for high performance and financial management;
• Implement a province-wide network of collaborative primary care centres with expanded hours of operation accessible to all;
• Provide for province-wide accessibility of chronic disease management programs (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases);
• Enhance homecare to minimize hospitalization and nursing home care for frail seniors;
• Reduce over-prescribing of drugs such as painkillers, antibiotics and anti-depressants;
• implement effective programs to improve lifestyles, including tax incentives for engaging in healthy activities and tax disincentives for consuming food with excessive salt, sugar or saturated/trans fats; and
• remove caps on Medicare billing numbers.
3. Health Transfer
A Green government would work with the other Maritime provinces to lobby the federal government to adjust the federal per capita monetary health transfer to a transfer adjusted for age of the population.
4. Women's Health
Considering that the health of women, including those of marginalized women, and the health of persons born of sexual, gender and physical diversity, requires recognition of their right to self-determination and control of their bodies, a Green government would:
support and promote research that promotes women's health;
ensure access to health and social services that are physically adapted to women and free from prejudice and include measures to reduce social marginalization;
promote access to free contraception in secondary schools, colleges and universities;
take into account that the needs of women differ according to age; and
address the stigma, discrimination, judicialization, and invisibility of women living with HIV and/or HCV.
5. Midwifery and Birth Centre
A Green government would integrate regulated midwifery and birthing centres into the publicly funded health care system in order to allow women to choose the option of home birth and to choose their own birth attendants (at their own expense) without legal repercussions.
A Green government would support a national pharmacare program that would include:
• a universal public drug plan to replace the more expensive patchwork of private and public plans. The public plan would be cost- shared (federal, provincial government and employers) and administered by provinces and territories;
• a national formulary to cover the complete cost of all essential drugs. Decisions on which drugs are paid for would be based on independent evaluation of safety, effectiveness, and value for money. Allowances will be made for special needs and circumstances;
• a national strategy to obtain reductions in drug prices through bulk purchasing;
• a national public drug information system, free of conflict of interest with the pharmaceutical industry, to provide unbiased drug information for all health care professionals and the public;
• the strengthening and strict enforcement of legislation to ban all forms of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs;
• improving prescribing behaviour of professionals so that drugs are used only when needed, and the right drug is used for the right problem; and
• acceleration of access to more affordable non-patented drugs and repeal the regulations that extend monopoly patents beyond 20 years.
7. Seniors Health
A Green government would:
ensure timely access to healthcare services to seniors recovering from acute medical events. Best practices in hospitals include consultation with the patient and family members to determine what activities the person wants to resume and the integration of these goals into the care plan. Members of the hospital care team must encourage and promote a return to normal functions. The regaining of mobility and resumption of activities of daily living must be the goal;
shift the healthcare paradigm from treatment to prevention, which would address the underlying causes of the acute events that bring seniors to hospital in the first place: balance issues, confusion and polypharmacy (the use of medications that compromise activity/mobility), among others;
introduce a Pharmacare program to ensure that prescription drugs are included as part of New Brunswick Medicare coverage;
bring long-term care homes under the purview of the public healthcare system, with staff and resources determined by needs rather than costs; and
deliver an effective home care program that provides in-home services and assistance to the older population while paying home-care workers a decent wage.