FREDERICTON, NB – The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce echoes the position of the New Brunswick Medical Society that the provincial government’s decision to move extramural and Tele-Care services to Medavie is ‘worth a try.’ With the province’s demographic challenges, the Fredericton chamber has previously advocated for the need to rethink and realign how healthcare is delivered in New Brunswick both now and into the future. The government should continue to find innovative ways to solve problems, save money and/or provide better service.
“Healthcare delivery already consumes about 40% of the provincial budget. With a population that is older than the national average, spread out through the province and in decline, we can conclude that this number will continue to rise without intervention,” said Keir Clark President of the Fredericton chamber. “I don’t think any of us know if this particular contract or model will end up being part of the solution, but it is obvious that what we are currently doing is not sustainable and we look forward to seeing the results. We commend the government for taking this step to try to address one of the biggest challenges facing New Brunswickers today and into the future.”
Healthcare reform is one of the most difficult political challenges in any jurisdiction. Despite the near-universal acceptance that change is needed, governments are faced with outrage when they try to affect that change.
“Health care leaders, former ministers and economists like Richard Saillant have been ringing alarm bells as loudly as possible for many years. We are headed towards a health care reckoning and governments choosing to kick the can down the road is not an option,” said Krista Ross, chamber CEO. “Certainly we encourage more transparency from government than has been delivered in this instance and we all demand no detrimental effects on patient care – reasonable expectations that we will use to hold government and Medavie to account if they do not deliver.”
“We need all political parties in New Brunswick to take a practical, non-partisan approach when evaluating the Medavie contract or any other initiative taken by the government of the day. Reflexively throwing out the work of previous governments political purposes is one of the reasons our province is burdened with more than $14 billion in debt today,” added Ross. “In the best-case scenario, the model will prove to be an efficient and effective way to deliver services to New Brunswickers that can be applied to other departments, programs and policies.”
The deal with Medavie represents a made-for-New Brunswick solution by a New Brunswick organization that has the potential to have positive spin-off effects that go beyond health care delivery such as increasing employment, growing a sector of strength in the province, creating new innovations and building expertise in our workforce. Leveraging Medavie’s technological capabilities to integrate related services has the potential to produce solutions that can be exported to other jurisdictions.
“As David Campbell wrote earlier this month, Medavie is major employer and innovator in the province. As a non-profit organization, they can be more nimble than the government – ideally positioning them to deliver services that New Brunswickers deserve,” added Clark. “We are hopeful that the model will be very successful and can be replicated in the future both in health care and beyond – which we’ll never know if we don’t try.”
The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, a nationally accredited organization with nearly 1,000 members, is an active business organization engaged in policy development and advocacy that affects the competitiveness of our members and the Canadian business environment. The Chamber’s vision is ‘Stronger Community Through Business Prosperity’.
Contact: Krista Ross, CEO – (506) 458-8006