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Health Minister Bruce Fitch. Image: Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick video capture

Province wants unelected health authority boards

By Allan Dearing May 10, 2023 | 6:38 AM

The Higgs government seeks to eliminate elected members of the two regional health authority boards – Horizon and Vitalité.

Health Minister Bruce Fitch introduced a bill, an Act Respecting the Regional Health Authorities, in the legislature on Tuesday.

“Mr. Speaker, the amendments will change the composition of the board of directors for both our regional health authorities from seven appointed members and eight elected members – to seven members all appointed by the Minister of Health for a term of three years.”

Fitch noted the change to having appointed board members will align New Brunswick with other provinces.

“We are making the boards of the regional health authorities smaller to become more manageable and focused. This will result in a better governance structure that will improve the functioning of the boards,” said Fitch.

“These changes will help ensure the right balance of skill sets and knowledge are present on the boards. Board members will continue to be appointed based upon competencies and other factors, including the interests of the linguistic communities, developed collaboratively with the regional health authorities.”

Fitch added the new Health System Collaboration Council will bring together the Minister of Health and the representatives for both RHA’s to ensure a patient centered, accessible, responsible health system that people can count on.

Following the death of a man in the emergency room at the Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton last summer, the Higgs government made sweeping changes by replacing both boards with a single trustee and firing the CEO of Horizon Health.


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