CBC Online News | Updated Aug. 18, 2006
On June 9, 2004 Bernard Lord's government delivered some tough medicine for New Brunswick's health care system.
The four-year plan called for 298 hospital bed closures, the elimination of hospitals in Woodstock, Dalhousie, Caraquet and St. Quentin, staff layoffs and consolidation of non-clinical services like laundry and food.
The changes were supposed to save $46 million, and make the province healthier.
The money was to help pay for four community health centres, create new and improved programs, such as methadone clinics in Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton and vaccination programs for children.
Despite the new programs and healthy hopes, thousands protested the plan on the steps of the provincial legislature.
They carried picket signs calling for the resignations of both the premier and former Health Minister Elvy Robichaud.
Two years later, many people are still angry about the changes, especially in Woodstock and northern New Brunswick, where small communities equate the loss of hospital services with a loss of faith in their ability to thrive and attract new people and jobs.
Most of the hardest-hit communities voted for Liberal MLAs in the last election, so the Tory party may not be affected by lingering resentment over the changes. However, with redistribution, it's anyone guess how anger over the health reforms will play out on election day.
Interactive Map: Hospital beds by region by facility
Pass your mouse over the locations on the map to find out the details of hospital bed closures or view complete list.
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- From Jun. 25, 2004:
Province rescues methadone clinic
- From Jun. 23, 2004:
Tory nursing home plan falls short: seniors
- From Jun. 22, 2004:
McCain gift will reduce wait times for patients
- From Jun. 21, 2004:
Lord government makes room for doctors
- From Jun. 18, 2004:
Send hospital beds to Africa: missionary
- From Jun. 17, 2004:
Chief of staff resigns from hospital
- Dalhousie revolts against hospital cut
- From Jun. 16, 2004:
Miramichi stands firm against cuts
- Minister says Miramichi must cut beds
- From Jun. 15, 2004:
Doctors boycott Hartland hospital plan
- Bed closures mean longer waits: ER docs
- From Jun. 14, 2004:
Rural coalition to fight health plan
- Upgrades for ambulance attendants
- From Jun. 11, 2004:
Cuts to big hospitals could be trouble: Furlong
- Lord says hospital beds are surplus
- Nursing homes can accept 'bed blockers'
- From Jun. 10, 2004:
Health plan hard sell for Tories
- Road tolls could have saved beds: Liberals
- Miramichi Tory won't cross the floor
- No solution for surgery wait lists - yet
- From Jun. 9, 2004:
Anger greets Tory health plan
- 'This is a disaster,' says Dalhousie mayor
- Bed cuts will cripple St. Stephen hospital: doctor
- From Jun. 8, 2004:
Miramichiers prepare to defend their hospital
- Saint John gets first methadone clinic
- From Jun. 4, 2004:
No clinic, more crime, police say
- From May 19, 2004:
Health protest demands answers
- From May 18, 2004:
Doctors demand health plan details
- From Feb. 2, 2004:
Health report warns of looming staff crisis
- From Dec. 17, 2003:
Hundreds protest hospital plan
- From Dec. 2, 2003:
Health Minister to move quickly on hospital plan
- From Nov. 6, 2003:
Authorities recommend hospital closures
- Government of New Brunswick:
Provincial Health Plan 2004-2008
(1.36 mb - PDF)
- Fujitu Consulting's Health Human Resources Study
- The New Brunswick Cancer Network:
A Cancer Control Accountability Framework
(2.02 mb - PDF)
- Health Canada:
Health Infostructure in Canada: Provincial and Territorial Plans and Priorities 2003 - New Brunswick
- New Brunswick Medical Society:
Reaction to the Announcement of the Health Services Plan
Physicians call for Public Hearings on the Health Services Plan
- Great West Life:
Fact Sheet -Provincial Health Plan New Brunswick (128 kb - PDF)
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- Tories urge Lord to stay on and lead opposition
- Liberals topple Lord's Tories in New Brunswick
- Tory Green gracious in defeat
- Liberals make gains in N.B. cities
- NDP Leader Brewer loses own district