New Brunswick

Blood agency exec refutes critics' claims in N.B.

The chief executive officer of Canadian Blood Services (CBS) flew from Ottawa to Saint John Thursday to refute what his organization refers to as misinformation and fear-mongering.

The head of Canadian Blood Services (CBS) flew from Ottawa to Saint John Thursday to refute what his organization refers to as "misinformation and fear-mongering" at a press conference.

CBS is moving to consolidate some of its operations to Nova Scotia, and Dr. Graham Sher, chief executive officer of CBS gave his word that the blood supply would remain "adequate and safe."

"That we will be harming New Brunswickers, [that] lives will be lost, that this will be a second-class service. None of this is true," he said.

"There have been reports in the media that we are leaving the province of New Brunswick. That is not true. The one process, our blood component process is being consolidated into Dartmouth, Nova Scotia," Sher said.

"Everything else is staying here, the collection of blood and the storage of blood here for distribution."

Ian Mumford, Sher’s chief operating officer, said that northern New Brunswick hospitals will get better delivery by air, adding that CBS was getting "very positive feedback from the hospitals in the north as well as Moncton, of course."

Unexpected comments from Ivan Court, the mayor of Saint John, turned the press conference in a different direction.

"You can’t tell me that this is going to be a better system. The experts I’m hearing from are the people over here in the trauma centre. I’m talking to the heart specialist. I have great faith in Dr. Parrot, Dr. Comeau, and all the other doctors over there," Court said.

Several doctors in the Saint John area have written editorials or conducted interviews expressing deep concerns about the CBS plan. Among those is Dr. Robert Rae, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society, who said he prefers "CBS maintain existing services in Saint John and enhance those services."

The province has received two studies on the options of whether it will accept the CBS plan or invent its own blood collection agency. Premier David Alward promised a timely decision but would not commit to an answer before the end of this month.

 

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