N.B. outlines major health spending in 2017-18

The New Brunswick government says it's making record investments in health care in 2017-18.

Health Minister Victor Boudreau said $2.657 billion has been budgeted this year for the Department of Health – an increase of 3.3 per cent over last year.

Some of the major investments include increasing the annual operating budget for the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre by $1.3 million, investing $4.4 million in the New Brunswick Heath Centre in Saint John to recruit a new cardiac surgeon and a new electrophysiology physician, and adding six physician positions as per the Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick Agreement.

Boudreau said those investments are aimed at improving primary and acute care in the province.

He said the province is also investing a near-record $110.3 million in health infrastructure, including:

  • $2.5 million to begin the work on the estimated $90-million renovations at the Saint John Regional Hospital;
  • $4.4 million to continue design and engineering work on the estimated $200-million expansion at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton;
  • $2 million towards a nearly $35-million project at the Moncton Hospital to build separate units for neonatal intensive are, maternity and newborns, as well as relocate and improve the cardiac care areas;
  • continuing work on the addition of the surgical suite and renovations at the Dr. Georges-L. Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton; and
  • investing in the expansion to the Paquetville Health Centre.

The province says it will also expand its vaccination program to include the HPV vaccine for boys in middle school, and the rotavirus vaccine for infants.