Higgs sees extra private-sector supply of well being care as an choice
Premier Blaine Higgs says he will not rule out extra private-sector supply of health-care companies in New Brunswick as he tries to handle lengthy wait instances and different persistent issues within the system.
Higgs mentioned throughout a information convention with three different Progressive Conservative premiers that he would “go away the door open” to different options.
“All choices are on the desk to grasp what are finest practices, not solely all through our nation however in different international locations,” he mentioned.
“What can we do in a different way in relation to how we ship companies, and who can do it finest?”
With emergency division wait-time horror tales and a number of shutdowns of hospital companies plaguing the province this summer time, the premier evoked the “customer support focus” he noticed throughout his profession at Irving Oil as a mannequin for the well being care system.
Ontario not too long ago introduced it’s going to improve the variety of publicly funded surgical procedures going down in non-public clinics.
Higgs did not specify that as one thing he was , however he mentioned his assembly with the PC premiers of Ontario, Nova Scotia and P.E.I gave him the chance to consider different fashions.
“Sure, issues are going to vary, and sure, that may very well be in a distinct kind, and I do not know what that is going to appear to be, however I need medical professionals to offer us their finest concepts, not simply extra of the identical and hope for the perfect.”
Higgs additionally tried to quash any hypothesis that New Brunswickers must pay out of pocket for higher care.
“I wish to make very clear that what we’re speaking about right here is publicly funded well being care. So it isn’t a case of well being care not being publicly funded.”
The 2 opposition events rapidly denounced his feedback.
“That is deeply regarding,” mentioned Liberal Chief Susan Holt.
“Our health-care system is falling aside, with ERs closing, ready lists exploding, and health-care professionals pushed previous their limits, and this authorities, sitting on a surplus, desires to make room for income from the system?”
Holt vowed to “do every part I can to stop this.”
Inexperienced Occasion MLA Kevin Arseneau referred to as any privatization “a race to the underside” that will weaken the system additional and make it inaccessible to working class folks.
The province ran surpluses of $408 million in 2020-21 and $487.8 million in 2021-22. A surplus of $35.2 million is projected this 12 months.
Higgs has despatched blended indicators on spending extra on well being care, saying earlier this month the federal government had already “funded the change we want” with a $168.5 million improve to the well being finances in 2022-23.
Later the identical day, he mentioned funding in well being is “clearly wanted and we’re doing simply that, however the funding must be in companies that serve … New Brunswickers in a optimistic manner, not companies that do not produce the correct outcomes.”