16 SEPTEMBER 2014
(FREDERICTON, NB) -- Green Party Leader David Coon unveiled his party's plan to rebalance the health care system from the steps of the newly located Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre today.
"People tell me everyday the problem is access, getting access to the help they need to prevent and get on top of health problems," Coon said. "The Green Party will accelerate New Brunswick's investment in community health centres, establishing two new centres per year over four year at a total cost of $28 million to the capital budget."
He said the centres would have family doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers, physiotherapists, midwives and naturopaths. He added that the community health centre model is well accepted in the province but services urgently need to expand to offer more localized wellness programs for persons with chronic illness, seniors and their caregivers in rural communities.
In another bold initiative to improve access, Coon said the Green Party would follow the Mental Health Commission's advice and increase 'the proportion' of the health budget dedicated to mental health services.
"We have the type of expertise needed to make a difference, just not enough of it. People with mental illness are waiting for months to get the help they need," Coon said. "We need to shift our resources so people aren't losing years of their lives, years they can never get back".
The Green Party, he says, is committed to putting the person back in the driver's seat; helping people like Jonah Emery, a local mental health peer activist who lives with Bipolar disorder, access the help they need when they need it.