Atwin weighs in on NB healthcare changes

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Green Party MP Jenica Atwin has weighed in on the sweeping changes being made to the healthcare system in this province.

In a release, Atwin, who is the MP for Fredericton having beaten incumbent Liberal MP Matt Decourcey in the October federal election, says the changes being made are indicative of the challenges facing the provincial healthcare system.

She adds, "these changes will disproportionately affect people living in rural communities. NB needs a federal health transfer that is based on the province's demographic realities, taking into account both our aging and rural population."

Earlier this week the province announced plans to close the emergency departments of six small rural hospitals during overnight hours, shifting those beds from acute to long-term care.

People in these communities will now have to travel up to 75 km to receive emergency care during overnight hours.

The Green Party release says provincial health stats show 28% of serious accidents and urgent mental health cases occur between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

Atwin says in the release, "New Brunswick faces demographic challenges that must be accounted for in the federal health transfer, and the federal budget about to be tabled should include this consideration."