Op-Ed: Is private healthcare the solution?

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On November 7, 2022, the New Brunswick Health Coalition organised a rally in front of Health Minister Bruce Fitch’s office to oppose the proposal of more privatised healthcare by Progressive Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs.

Tracy Glynn/NB Media Co-op

Higgs Announcement 

This came from Higgs announcement on October 24 where the Government of New Brunswick (GNB) announced that they wanted to make more room for private healthcare going forward. Management of ambulance services, extra-mural services, Tele-Care and NB Health Link have already been transferred to Medavie, a private company, and Higgs does not want it to stop there. He wants to go further and make more healthcare services become privately offered.

Message from the co-chairs of the Coalition

Bernadette Landry the co-chair of the NB Health Coalition is quoted saying;

“By turning to private companies to deliver healthcare services, we are losing control of our public healthcare system. We lose control of the direction we want the system to take, we lose control of its staff, infrastructure, equipment, technology, costs, etc. In the public system, managers are accountable to MLAs and to the Legislature. That way we know what’s going on, but when that responsibility is transferred to a company, they may withhold the information to protect their interests.” 

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Co-chair Daniel Legere also adds that “… the already critical shortage of staff in the public system will only get worse”.

The Problem with Privatisation

We all know that business’s main goal is making money. By transferring our public healthcare system to a private company, the priority will shift from good patient care to making a huge profit. The cost to New Brunswickers will also rise. Taxpayers will pay significantly more for these services than they were before.

(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

It is no secret that the New Brunswick healthcare system is falling apart. NB healthcare workers are operating under extremely stressful work environments. They are understaffed and overworked. GNB must realise that the solution to this problem is not to privatise, but to save the system people have worked so hard to build.