André Picard, Health Columnist for the Globe and Mail, opened the evening and set the tone for the session, sharing his expert knowledge acquired over more than 30 years on our health care system. We heard from a variety of people with lived experience on their very personal health issues and corresponding challenges accessing timely and affordable life-saving treatment. We also heard from health and mental health policy experts for the need for policy and system improvements and from politicians who expressed a deep and personal understanding of where our health care system is failing and a sincere desire to improve it. We also had a very engaged audience who articulately voiced their individual concerns and asked intelligent and insightful questions of our expert panel and politicians.
Town hall including keynote speaker André Picard, author, health reporter and columnist for The Globe and Mail.
Three people with lived experience – advocates for cancer, mental health and arthritis – described the challenges of navigating the complex health care system, how they had to research and find their own treatment options and at times travel out of province to receive the care they needed.
A panel of experts focused on the need for policy and system improvements: New Brunswick’s Health Council (NBHC), CEO Stéphane Robichaud, Louise Binder, Health Policy Consultant SYSF, and Linda Wilhelm, Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance.
New Brunswick Minister of Health, the Honorable Benoît Bourque and Green Party Leader, David Coon also shared their views about health care.