Premier needs to act now on implementing recommendations of Dr. Sehgal

FREDERICTON – In light of Horizon’s Saint John and Moncton emergency rooms being restricted to individuals with limb- or life-threatening medical needs over the weekend, Green Party leader David Coon and Green caucus health critic Megan Mitton say that Premier Higgs needs to urgently act on implementing the recommendations of Fredericton ER doctor Dr. Yogi Sehgal. On August 10, Dr. Sehgal sent several recommendations to Premier Higgs, Minister Fitch and the regional health authorities after consulting with other frontline staff and patients.

“Last week Premier Higgs praised Dr. Sehgal for the recommendations he presented without saying whether he would actually implement them,” said Coon. “The solutions are already there. It’s time for the Premier to act.”

Dr. Sehgal’s recommendations include facilitating and paying for training opportunities for physician assistants, and for licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses, registered nurses to become nurse practitioners, paramedics to become advanced care paramedics. Another recommendation is to move primary healthcare out of the emergency department by offering direct access through primary care clinics.

“We need medical professionals to be able to work within their full scope of practice to use their skills to better serve their patients,” said Mitton. “However, many healthcare workers can’t simply afford to take time off to pursue further education. This is where Minister Holder needs to step in and ensure training is accessible for everyone who wants to improve their skills.”