Advocacy group says overnight ER closures an attack on small communities

Emergency room

Caraquet's mayor isn't mincing words when it comes the the provincial government's decision to shut down six emergency rooms at night.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Ted Flemming announced that emergency departments in Caraquet, Grand Falls, Sainte-Anne-de-Kent, Perth Andover, Sackville, and Sussex will shut down between midnight and 9am and no longer accept patients after 10pm.

Mayor Kevin Hache tells the Northern Light that the community is 'very disappointed' in the decision and that it was told back in 2018 that emergency services at l'Hopital de l'Enfant-Jesus wouldn't be going anywhere.

He says citizens are happy with more services during the day but still need emergency room services at night.

Horizon Health Network CEO Karen McGrath says the affected facilities were selected for overnight closure based on the number of patients.

She says they averaged five per night and that not all cases were emergencies.

Meanwhile, Comite Action H and Egalite Sante's Louise Blanchard calls the closures 'politics of regionalism' and an attack on small communities. 

(with files from the Northern Light)