Green leaders call for demographic top-up to federal healthcare deal
FREDERICTON – New Brunswick Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon and federal Green Party leader and MP for Saanich—Gulf Islands Elizabeth May are calling on the federal government to provide additional healthcare funding to New Brunswick and the other Atlantic provinces to reflect their unique demographics, while maintaining a commitment to publicly provided and managed healthcare.
“New Brunswick and the other Atlantic provinces face demographic challenges due to our aging population that few other regions of the country face. There are proportionately greater numbers of people requiring higher levels of care here, and a much higher proportion of doctors and nurses retiring,” said Elizabeth May. “The Trudeau government must incorporate a demographic adjustment in the new healthcare funding agreements to recognize these unique circumstances, just as Ottawa recognized the region’s unique fiscal needs, when the Atlantic provinces first joined the national medicare program.”
According to New Brunswick’s Green Party leader, David Coon, increased federal funding for healthcare must support publicly provided and managed health care services.
“With the increased federal funding, we must protect our publicly managed healthcare system from the growing creep of corporate interests,” said Coon. “New federal money must come with the conditions that it is not funneled to corporate interests that are seeking to take over the provision of healthcare services. Public money should not be used to pay dividends to investors in privately delivered health care.”
This past fall, New Brunswick’s government used its majority to adopt legislative changes that will permit corporations to provide certain surgeries in privately-owned surgical centres. While the surgeries will be covered by Medicare, the corporations will receive payments for the use of their facilities. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has recently announced his intention to follow in the footsteps of Premier Higgs and roll out a similar program in Ontario.