Extra-Mural Program should remain within public system, says Vitalite Health Network

The Vitalite Health Network says it's disappointed with a decision by the province to privatize the management and delivery of home care services.

The recent decision will result in New Brunswick's Extra-Mural Program being merged with Ambulance New Brunswick which is managed by Medavie.

The Network feels it can do a better job managing the program than a private enterprise.

President and CEO Gilles Lanteigne says the privatization of home care is somewhat withdrawing a powerful tool from the Network to achieve its mission, which is to excel in improving people's health.

The Network intends to do everything it can to minimize any negative impact privatization may have on its staff.

Vitalite's Extra-Mural Program has of workforce of nearly 300 full-time equivalents, mostly nurses and health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, dietitians, and respiratory therapists.

The program is considered a national leader in home-based care, having made a little over 207,600 home visits in 2016-17 alone.