November 30, 2020
The Honorable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
House of Commons
Re: Long-term care in New Brunswick
Dear Minister Hajdu,
On October 15th of this year the New Brunswick Nurses Union put out a report called “The Forgotten Generation: An Urgent Call for Reform” highlighting the limits of the long term care system in New Brunswick and the glaring need for change. This exhaustive research on the province’s nursing home sector shows the ever increasing challenge of finding beds for seniors and the degradation in the quality of care.
There has been increasing worries coming from the registered nurses union about the increase of private nursing homes, and more importantly the plans of the provincial government to further develop this industry. The union highlights numerous studies that show privatizing is not the best option for patients. But the extensive report touches on a variety of issues to which we already know the solutions too. The report explains the importance of having nurse practitioners in long term care units and the benefits it has not only on the quality of care given to patients but also the gains that are made on the overall healthcare system with these kinds of changes. I’m writing to you today because I believe it is the time to act on this.
Since 2004, the province of New Brunswick has seen 16 reports on seniors and long term care with very little being done after their publication. With Minister Bruce Fitch already questioning some of the statements made in the report and explaining that now is not the time for change, it is clear that the federal government must play a role of leader in this issue. Recommendations addressed directly to the federal government can be found in this report and include security for workers, demographic challenges, funding necessity and lack of workforce.
I hope to see your government be leaders on this issue to ensure that the long term care units provide the quality of care that Canadians deserve across the country and in the province of New Brunswick. I would welcome the opportunity to talk further with you about this.