January 10, 2022
The Mount Allison Faculty Association calls on the Government of New Brunswick to preserve and enhance the role of the Sackville Memorial Hospital and supports wholeheartedly the social movement that is working to draw attention to the current cuts being imposed on our health care in Sackville and Tantramar.
The Sackville Memorial Hospital is very important to the people of Sackville and Tantramar more broadly, and to the future of Mount Allison University, which hosts over 2000 students each year. High-quality, local health care is essential to attract and retain faculty and librarians and other university employees, including once they retire. Over the years many cuts have been made to the hospital, such as in the area of bed reduction and services such as obstetrics and outpatient care. This has often been based on the flawed belief that moving medical services to Moncton and other centres is the only way to offer these services.
The centralization of health care provision is also inequitable. Not everyone can afford or has access to travel to Amherst or Moncton, often to face long waits for service, and these trips in the winter can be hazardous in their own right. Not everyone has good health insurance that covers the cost of ambulance trips. Patients are often isolated from their families if they cannot be treated in their own community.
We are concerned that when governments divest from a community, others will follow this lead and divest as well. With this in mind, over the years the community has also generated many ideas to make Sackville Memorial Hospital thrive, but governments have persisted in moving in the opposite direction. It is time for the provincial government to work with our communities to rebuild health care in the Sackville area.