'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

C.U.P.E. walks out from Government strategic review meeting in Fredericton tonight!!!

Published on YouTube on Jan 12, 2016

Unionized paramedics protest employer's bilingual service plan

Employees cite unfair treatment in new scheduling system

Jacques Poitras · Provincial Affairs reporter · CBC News December 14, 2015

16 12 2015
Unionized paramedics protest against Ambulance New Brunswick's new scheduling plan put in place to meet bilingual language requirements. (Jacques Poitras/CBC)

Unionized paramedics in Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John protested Monday against Ambulance New Brunswick's new plan to meet its legal requirements for bilingual service.

About 50 people rallied at the organization's Fredericton office, with similar numbers showing up in the other two cities.

Read more at CBC.ca

Victor Boudreau releases review with proposed cuts, tax hikes

Strategic program review lists $600M in possible cuts and revenue-raising ideas for the provincial government

CBC News, November 27, 2015

30 11 2015

Health Minister Victor Boudreau, the minister responsible for the strategic program review, released a report with $600 million in possible cuts and ways to boost revenues at a news conference on Friday. (CBC)

The New Brunswick government is proposing a long list of cuts, measures to boost revenue and ways to overhaul the delivery of government services to eliminate the province's $600-million structural deficit.

Health Minister Victor Boudreau, the minister responsible for the strategic program review, announced the report at a news conference on Friday.

Read more at CBC.ca

Committee votes unanimously to move N.B. PTSD bill forward

November 25, 2015 2:11 pm
By Laura Brown - Video Journalist  Global News - © Shaw Media, 2015

26 11 2015

In a non-partisan show of support, it took MLA's from both sides of government just minutes to send a bill that would see faster treatment for those suffering from PTSD to the next step. Global' s Laura Brown has more.

Read more: Committee votes unanimously to move N.B. PTSD bill forward

Hospital cafeterias reducing hours or closing in Horizon Health region

Cafeterias are losing $350,000 a year, 25 workers will be let go

CBC News | Posted: Nov 19, 2015 4:52 PM AT | Last Updated: Nov 20, 2015 9:12 AM AT

news 20 11 2015 01

Horizon Health has confirmed it's making major cutbacks to the cafeteria hours in its hospitals.

Starting in the new year, no cafeteria in any of the regional health authority's hospitals will be open on weekends or statutory holidays, or after 1:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Read more: Hospital cafeterias reducing hours or closing in Horizon Health region

CUPE raises concerns about privatizing hospital services

CUPE pushes back against the Gallant government's plan to privatize hospital food and cleaning services
By Jacques Poitras, CBC News Posted: Sep 18, 2015 12:13 PM AT

norma cbc sept 18 2015
Norma Robinson, the president of CUPE Local 1252, predicts poorer quality food and “deaths from hospital-based infections” if one of three companies are chosen in the privatization of hospital services. (CBC)

Unionized workers are ramping up their fight against the Gallant government's plan to privatize the management of hospital food and cleaning services.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees released a scathing report on Friday listing problems that have come up in facilities where three leading food and cleaning companies have operated.

The so-called "Big Three" companies are Sodex of France, Aramark of the United States and Compass Group of the United Kingdom.

Norma Robinson, the president of CUPE Local 1252, predicts poorer quality food and "deaths from hospital-based infections" if any of the companies is chosen.

Read more: CUPE raises concerns about privatizing hospital services

Press Release - CUPE 1252 - Privatization

September 18, 2015

pdfPrivatization in Health Care: Pay More, Get Less (PDF - 98 KB)

CUPE 1252 - Brief to Hon. Victor Boudreau, Minister of Health

July 21, 2015

pdfPrivatization in Health Care: Pay More, Get Less (PDF - 250 KB)

Hospital Services to be Privatized by Fall

As published in the Telegraph Journal, July 2nd, 2015

FREDERICTON • The Liberal government plans to have a deal by fall to see a private firm take over the management of food and cleaning services in the province’s hospitals.

The Liberals have signalled that they want to give the private sector a greater role in the province’s health-care system.

Health Minister Victor Boudreau announced in April that government had started negotiating with a private firm to deliver some services in both health authorities.

That direction was reinforced by Horizon Health Network CEO John McGarry earlier this week, who has now suggested the use of private health-care firms could pull physiotherapists, audiologists, dietitians and other outpatient services from hospitals.

Read more: Hospital Services to be Privatized by Fall