New Brunswick rural communities targeted by Health care cuts

FREDERICTON: The Union representing the hospital workers, the New Brunswick Council of Hospital Union – CUPE local 1252 is appalled by the announcement this morning that another 14 positions held by its members are being cut in hospitals and community health centres in the province.

“This time, the government is targeting the rural communities. Community Health centres in McAdam, Black Harbour, Minto, Harvey and Tobique Valley are being hit, as well as major hospitals in the province, mainly Miramichi and Dr. Everett Chalmers in Fredericton”, said Norma Robinson, President of CUPE 1252.

“We were also informed that the hours of operation at those centres will also be reduced. The government should be ashamed to target small communities which already received the minimum of health care services.”

“The ones who are going to suffer the most are the seniors and the low-income citizens. These centres are away from major facilities. Most of the seniors don’t have transportation or they don’t have someone to drive them to facilities hours away. Also, some of those centres are the front line services to the forest industry.”

“Ironically, the government stated not long ago that there would be no cuts in certain areas of the province like Miramichi and today, we were told they are cutting 2 positions in that facility.”

“At the Tobique Valley Health centre, they are reducing the staff by half. What will come next: The closure of that centre? There is nothing left. They are being cut to the barebones.”

“Last August, the government cut 4 positions and now they added another 14, not counting the people they send home by attrition. When are they going to stop?” asked Robinson.

“At the end of the day, job cuts mean reduction of services. There’s no way around it.”

“This employer shows a complete disrespect for its employees. We didn’t receive any notice, we were advised 20 minutes before the pink slip was handed to the workers”, concluded Robinson