CUPE Local 4848 strongly believes in health care reform. It was announced on February 11th, 2020 that the government is interested in reforming health care in the province.
If the government is truly interested in health care reform, they should look at further implementing Advanced Care Paramedics. This group of highly trained medical professionals is going unutilized in this province. Government and Ambulance New Brunswick are only utilizing this life saving resource in four (4) areas of New Brunswick. Bathurst, Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John have one advanced care paramedic in each area that respond to critical medical emergencies in a response vehicle. The level of care these paramedics provide can mean the difference of Life and Death in certain situations.
Currently there are 65+ Advanced Care Paramedics registered and working for Ambulance New Brunswick; however, only around 39 are authorized to provide care at that level within Ambulance New Brunswick. The remaining Advance Care Paramedics currently work on ambulances as Primary Care Paramedics or in management positions. These Advanced Care Paramedics also work in rural New Brunswick and are begging to use their skills for the people in their communities.
In the wake of the government’s announcement to close six (6) emergency departments at night in the province, we do not believe this reform will benefit New Brunswickers. If Government wants health care reform, it needs to first improve their Ambulance Service by implementing province-wide Advanced Care Paramedics, and increase Nurse Practitioners first. Increasing ambulance coverage in the rural communities, address the retention and recruitment issues and increase the model of service to include Advanced Care Paramedics province-wide – these are recommendations we believe would greatly reduce the risk to public safety and be true health care reform.
President, CUPE Local 4848