Media release – September 6, 2017

Jennifer McKenzie, Leader of NBNDP asks Federal Minister to investigate transfer of Extra Mural Program

Since the Gallant government announcement on Friday of their intention to transfer the management of Extra Mural Program and Tele Health to Medavie Blue Cross, many New Brunswickers have expressed concern to me and their opposition to the privatisation of our health services. The extra –mural program, which has been operated by the Horizon and Vitalite health authorities for many years, has earned praise across the country for providing a high quality of health care to residents in their own homes. It is the wrong move to allow a private company to operate a key piece of community health care.

Today I wrote to our new Federal Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas-Taylor and asked her to investigate whether this transfer violates the Canada Health Act. In providing funding for health care services to the provinces the federal government is responsible for insuring that these services conform to the five principles set out in that Act. One of these principles is that health care services funded by federal and provincial governments are to administered by public institutions on a not for profit basis. There is no way that this deal today meets the requirements of the Canada Health Act.

This agreement must not be allowed to stand and we will continue to fight against any privatisation of our cherished public health care system.