$41 million invested to support accessible and quality health care

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is investing $41 million in capital funding to support its health-care partners in their delivery of accessible and quality health care.

The funding from the Department of Health is for equipment less than $100,000 and refurbishments and was provided earlier this year to Horizon Health Network, Vitalité Health Network, and Extra-Mural / Ambulance New Brunswick.

“We are pleased to be providing capital funding for these initiatives,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “This investment is another example of how our government is working with our health-care partners to address challenges in the health-care system and improve services for New Brunswickers.”

Horizon Health Network received about $22.7 million while Vitalité Health Network received $13.9 million and Extra-Mural / Ambulance New Brunswick received $4.4 million.

As part of Horizon’s critical action plan to improve the overall patient experience, funds will be invested in facility and equipment upgrades at regional and community hospitals, community health centres and other health-care facilities throughout the province.

The areas being funded include:

  • Refurbishments of patient rooms, family rooms, waiting rooms and staff rooms, primarily in hospitals.
  • Enhancements to expand surgical services at the Sackville Memorial Hospital and Sussex Health Centre, as well as increasing nursing resources for surgical services, and purchasing surgical equipment, software, apps and licensing fees.
  • Acquiring equipment, such as ultrasound machines and cardiac monitors, as well as mattresses, beds, stretchers, cribs, refrigerators and freezers.

“As part of our vision for improving health care for all New Brunswickers, we are committed to delivering the best possible experience for our patients,” said Margaret Melanson, Horizon’s interim president and chief executive officer. “We want all New Brunswickers to be and feel well cared for at every step of their health care journey with us.

“As well, improving the spaces and places we provide care helps not only our patients, but also our staff and physicians. All of these upgrades are essential in creating a positive work environment where our teams have the resources, technology, and equipment to provide timely, safe, and high-quality care.”

Vitalité is using the funds to invest in new equipment and renovations to improve the patient experience, increase capacity and maximize patient flow. These include:

  • Specialized equipment for laboratories, medical imaging, oncology, surgery, emergency, as well as beds and cardiac monitors.
  • Renovations to the oncology centre and the emergency department at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre, and the Lamèque family medicine unit.
  • Renovations in hospital spaces, such as patient rooms, waiting rooms and dialysis rooms.

“These strategic investments are perfectly in line with Vitalité Health Network’s priorities,” said Vitalité CEO Dr. France Desrosiers. “They will help facilitate access to care, increase the performance and capacity of our hospitals and improve the experience of our patients.”

The Extra-Mural Program is investing in modern equipment and medical supplies focused on providing optimal patient care and outcomes. These include:

  • Continuous Ambulatory Delivery Device IV infusion pumps to help administer medication to Extra-Mural patients at home.
  • Point-of-care lab technology to allow access to lab testing in the home of Extra-Mural patients.
  • Kognitiv Spark equipment and application used to facilitate remote patient assessments and consultations with other health-care professionals.

“These investments in health care come at an incredibly important time for our patients with the Extra-Mural Program,” said Ginette Pellerin, vice-president of the Extra-Mural Program. “As the median age of New Brunswickers continues to be one of the highest in Canada, our largely senior patient population will truly benefit from these innovative projects supported by state-of-the-art technology.

“From being able to receive testing at home without needing to travel for lab work, to long-distance electronic health tools that will allow Extra-Mural staff to more easily assess patients and consult with other health-care professionals, we are excited about what potential the future holds.”

Investments by Ambulance New Brunswick include additional automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for placement in support units, and an emergency command trailer, a mobile unit that will enable Ambulance New Brunswick or its partners to establish a temporary disaster relief response, on location, as needed.