Amanda Wildeman (Green Party) Response

Ms. Wildeman’s responses are below in green.


Dear Ms. Wildeman,

In 2017, 4,700 New Brunswickers were diagnosed with cancer and 2,100 died of it. Clearly, this life-threatening illness affects families, friends, the workplace and entire communities.

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) works to connect patients, survivors and other stakeholder groups with decision makers and the wider community to engage in discussion and to act on evidence-based best practices to alleviate the medical, emotional, financial and social costs of cancer and encourage research on ways to overcome barriers to optimal cancer care and follow-up for survivors in Canada.

The government of New Brunswick has a critical role to play in making sure that everyone diagnosed with cancer has timely access to the medications they need; is not subjected to dangerously long wait times for diagnosis and treatment; and receives adequate financial support during diagnosis and treatment.

We invite you to respond to the following questions about cancer care and healthcare in New Brunswick. Your responses will be circulated to cancer patients and survivors in New Brunswick and included on our website at and on our blog at . Links to your responses will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter.

  1. Access to primary healthcare

According to Statistics Canada, more than 11.3% of the province’s population is without a family doctor. This means that 107,787 New Brunswickers are without access to primary care. In addition, wait lists for general practitioners are increasing from one to two years, and this problem is projected to worsen with doctors retiring and the growth of the senior population.   

If elected, what steps will your government take to increase the availability of family doctors and healthcare practitioners in New Brunswick?

As outlined in our platform (page 13)

 Health care is not a business, and the public health system should not be run like one – or by one. Instead, it should be organized to meet citizens’ health needs effectively, with decisions about providing care made at the community level.

  A Green Government would: 

  • Increase to nine percent the proportion of the Department of Health’s budget dedicated to providing mental health and addiction services.  
  • Cancel the contract with the private company Medavie for managing our extra-mural health services, and return management responsibilities to Horizon and Vitalité. 
  • Place our ambulance services under public management and initiate a public inquiry into how they can be improved. 
  • Give hospitals the authority to make decisions about how best to provide timely access and care to patients and enable all staff to collaborate to implement them. 
  • Create 40 new nurse practitioner positions, and allow nurse practitioners and pharmacists to bill Medicare for health services to reduce wait times for primary health care. 
  • Eliminate the government-imposed caps on Medicare billing numbers, so more doctors can open practices in regions where there is a demand for their service. 
  • Add eight new community health-care centres staffed by collaborative family health care teams, including mental health professionals and nurse practitioners. 
  • Integrate midwives into each of New Brunswick’s health regions. 
  • Enable optometrists to work to their full scope of practice to prescribe glaucoma treatment, for example.   
  1. National pharmacare

Canada’s universal healthcare system does not include access to prescription medicines. The result is a provincial/territorial patchwork of public and private insurance plans that are costly, ineffective and do not guarantee access to prescribed drugs. The federal government has set up an Advisory Council on the Implementation of Pharmacare to look at how access to prescription drugs can be improved in our healthcare system. Patients throughout Canada are concerned that national pharmacare will lead to a list of covered drugs that only meets the lowest common denominator.

If elected, will your government support the implementation of a national pharmacare program that guarantees access to prescription medicines and a coverage plan that goes beyond a formulary that meets the lowest common denominator?

If not, please explain how your party will ensure that New Brunswickers will have timely access to prescription drugs.

On Page 17 of our platform we have:

Eliminate the annual premiums for the New Brunswick Drug Plan for individuals earning less than $25,000 and families of four earning less than $40,0007 , and support implementation of a national Pharmacare program  

  1. Patient engagement

Patients are key stakeholders in the healthcare system. Currently, there are no dedicated patient engagement committees that advise the provincial government on healthcare issues. Regional health authorities have patient advisory committees, but more is needed.

While the government consults with regional health authorities and physicians, patients must also have direct participation in these consultations by being included in the provincial level.

If elected, will your government take steps to create a Patient Engagement Committee that directly advises the government on healthcare issues?

Greens believe in patient-centered health care.  While we don’t use the specific term ‘Patient Engagement Committee’ in our platform, we have some items that directly support this goal.  

Our vision includes this principle:

  •  Communities make important decisions about health services, education and economic development;  

As mentioned above, our platform includes this statement:

  • Give hospitals the authority to make decisions about how best to provide timely access and care to patients and enable all staff to collaborate to implement them.