Unionized employees with New Brunswick's Horizon Health Network have been advised to expect layoffs.
Atlantic Canada's largest health authority has informed the Canadian Union of Public Employees it's looking at restructuring its health-care delivery.
Maintenance and administrative staff are among the unionized workers who face job cuts, as well as paramedics, licensed practical nurses and cardiology technologists.
Norma Robinson, president of CUPE Local 12-52, otherwise known as the New Brunswick Council of Hospital Unions, said she found out about the cuts a couple of weeks ago during meetings with provincial and regional human resource officers.
"There's fear in the membership because it is people's lives. It's their livelihood," said Robinson.
Robinson said there is no word yet on where or how many positions might be cut, but she said even minimal numbers would have an impact on patient care.
"When I say we're at the bare minimum, I really don't know how they will look at reducing further without it being detrimental to the delivery of health care."
The Horizon Health Network covers the Miramichi, Fredericton and Saint John regions, as well as the Moncton Hospital.
"I don't see how they can cut period," Robinson said.
"There are departments that just can't afford to have one person off on any particular day because if they do, there's no one to replace them, which puts an impact on those in the workplace that are there continuing to provide the service."
Robinson said other health-care providers in the province might face similar restructuring reviews.