Board of Directors: Urgent decisions must be made for the future of health care in French

Bathurst, Friday, May 28, 2021 – The Board of Directors of Vitalité Health Network believes that urgent decisions must be made by the provincial government to ensure that New Brunswickers can receive the health care they need and to ensure the future of French-language services in our province.

Urgent decisions required

“This is what a recent meeting of the Executive Committee of the Board concluded,” explained Chairperson Michelyne Paulin.

“The Board of Directors wants to contribute constructively and in a collaborative spirit to the current debate around the human resources challenges existing within the health care system. ”

“This is why, in the name of transparency and openness, we are publicly supporting the Network in its efforts to work with government officials and other partners for certain decisions to be made as quickly as possible,” Ms. Paulin stated. 

The Chairperson was pleased that the government had officially and unequivocally ruled out merging the services of the two Moncton hospitals and merging the Regional Health Authorities. “The real solutions are to be found elsewhere,” Ms. Paulin continued.

Measures sought

Here are the primary immediate measures sought by Vitalité Health Network:

  • The timely transfer, within one to two days, by the Department of Social Development of hospitalized patients who have received their medical discharge and who are awaiting placement in a nursing home or special care home;
  • The recognition, by the Department of Health, of the special challenges that the minority community faces recruiting health professionals through the implementation of a provincial recruitment strategy tailored to address these challenges;
  • The end of the NCLEX-RN exam for Francophone candidates and the introduction of the Canadian Examination for Baccalaureate Nursing (CEBN) as the gateway to the nursing profession in New Brunswick;
  • The implementation of an international recruitment strategy that includes Francophone countries and that targets various professions, including nursing.  This strategy must allow for the recognition of nursing background and experience and make the NCLEX-RN exam a non-compulsory component;
  • The flexibility to use other types of professionals, such as social workers, kinesiologists and paramedical workers, to name only a few, in support of our existing teams;
  • The rapid conclusion of the negotiations with the New Brunswick Nurses Union to reach a collective agreement that will strengthen this profession and ensure a positive working climate this summer.

Importance of the governance role

The Chairperson also wished to stress the importance she places on respect for the Board of Directors’ governance role by all health system stakeholders, including the Department of Health.  “Any major change must take place based on constructive dialogue and on respect for the rules and powers that the Regional Health Authorities Act vests in the Board of Directors,” Ms. Paulin concluded.