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St-Stephen OR to remain open: CUPE 1252 backs community activists

The New Brunswick Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE 1252) applauds the recent successful efforts of the Concerned Citizens of Charlotte County, a St-Stephen citizens group created to protect hospital services in the region.

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On August 1st, Premier Brian Gallant announced he would “push” Horizon Health Network to keep operating room facilities open at the Charlotte County Hospital. This announcement has been a direct result of strong community-based activism.

“Rural New Brunswick has already been hit hard by the last rounds of cuts. I think this government got the message: citizens will mobilize to fight to keep their right to public services,” said CUPE Local 1252 president Norma Robinson.

The Charlotte County community group has been exemplary in its collaboration with the Health Care Coalition and labour groups to mobilize local citizens and earn media coverage. More than 500 people attended a rally in late July against closing the surgical program in St. Stephen.

“St. Stephen citizens have proven that we are stronger together. People in Grand Falls, Perth Andover, Lamèque and elsewhere now have an example of successful community action to follow in their fight to keep their services,” said Robinson.

“Every citizen has the right to the same quality of healthcare services in this province,” said Robinson. “CUPE 1252 will stand shoulder to shoulder with coalition partners to make sure Gallant keeps his promise to keep the OR open,” she concluded.

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Vitalité reps discuss hospital bed cuts with Restigouche mayors

Closed-door meeting about 25 proposed bed cuts being held at Campbellton Civic Centre

CBC News Posted: Jan 18, 2016 2:22 PM AT Last Updated: Jan 18, 2016 5:28 PM AT

20 01 2016 01
The Vitalité Health Network has recommended 99 hospital beds be closed throughout the network, including 25 in Restigouche. (CBC News)

Vitalité Health Network officials met with Restigouche-area politicians and doctors behind closed doors in Campbellton on Monday to explain the 25 hospital bed cuts they've recommended to the provincial government.

Read more: Vitalité reps discuss hospital bed cuts with Restigouche mayors

'Major cuts' to health care and education ruled out, Victor Boudreau says

Decision comes after Horizon Health Network CEO calls for hospital closures

By Jacques Poitras, CBC News
Posted: Jan 15, 2016 5:09 PM AT
Last Updated: Jan 15, 2016 5:09 PM AT

The Gallant government has ruled out any "major cuts" to health care and education in its upcoming provincial budget.

Despite warnings for months that the budget would include "tough choices" to eliminate a pattern of deficits of more than $500 billion, the Liberals have taken cuts to two of the biggest departments off the table.

18 01 2016 01And that's after only three of its 10 public consultation sessions have taken place.

"Health and education are not going to be subject to major cuts or major changes," Health Minister Victor Boudreau, who is overseeing the Strategic Program Review, told reporters on Friday.

That follows hints of the same message earlier this week from Premier Brian Gallant, who said the two sectors would be "protected."

In the Choices report released in November, the government said the closure of small hospitals, the elimination of all but six emergency rooms, and the "realignment of services" in large urban hospitals would save $50-80 million.

It also proposed cutting the number of teachers to match declining student enrolment, a decision that the report said would save $10-12 million.

Read more: 'Major cuts' to health care and education ruled out, Victor Boudreau says