N.B. to close six community hospital ERs overnight, shift resources to other needs

FREDERICTON — Emergency rooms in six community hospitals in New Brunswick will be closed overnight to allow resources to be directed to other services during the day.

The changes were announced today by the CEOs of the two regional health networks and Health Minister Hugh Flemming.

Effective March 11, emergency departments in Sussex, Sackville, Perth-Andover, Ste-Anne-de-Kent, Caraquet and Grand Falls will be closed from midnight to 8 a.m.

Horizon CEO Karen McGrath says the changes will allow physicians and nurse practitioners to see more patients in the daytime.

The six impacted communities will get added mental health services, and 120 acute care beds will be converted to long-term chronic care beds, mainly for seniors awaiting a nursing home.

Premier Blaine Higgs said Monday that government needs to act with a sense of urgency to ensure quality health care is maintained.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 11, 2020.

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