New Brunswick

Province restructures Office of Chief Medical Officer of Health

The New Brunswick government is restructuring the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, shifting some of its daily operations to other departments, the health minister said Thursday.

Government says mandate will stay the same, and there will be no layoffs as a result of changes

Health Minister Victor Boudreau says the government wants to streamline operations within the public service where possible. (CBC)

The New Brunswick government is restructuring the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, shifting some of its daily operations to other departments, the health minister said Thursday.

The mandate of the office will remain the same, Health Minister Victor Boudreau said in a news release.

But some of its daily operations will now be looked after by other provincial departments to improve collaboration and "pool together similar professional sets of expertise within government," the release said.

"We know residents of our province want their government to find efficiencies and streamline operations where possible within the public service," Boudreau said.

The work of public health and agri-food inspectors will now be looked after by the Department of Justice and Public Safety.

Meanwhile, the public health practice and population health branch will become part of the Department of Social Development. And the healthy environments branch will be integrated with the Department of Environment and Local Government.

A spokesperson for the Health Department said public health "retains the ability to determine their areas of work" and "the ability to form independent opinions."

But the department will now "have a larger pool of technical experts to drawn on from within the departments of social development and environment and local government," Sarah Williams wrote in an email to the CBC.

The core functions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health are to promote, assess and protect the health of the population in New Brunswick, to prevent disease and injury, and to oversee public health emergency preparedness and response.

The government said there will be no layoffs as a result of the changes, and the restructuring is expected to allow "for greater collaboration among Atlantic partners."

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