Open letter to New Brunswick Premier Higgs

New Brunswick health services I need have been affected by the strike, but the premier is to blame. We need fair wages for our public sector workers to get things back on track.

Open letter to New Brunswick Premier Higgs

Good afternoon,

I am a senior and have been a resident of New Brunswick for 37 years. I must admit that the recent communication concerning the cancellation of tests at Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital has been appalling. Since the individuals who normally contact patients are on strike, the system has totally broken down, as I can attest.

I have been waiting six months for a bone density test (the waiting list for this type of test is appalling, but that is another matter), and apparently I was magically supposed to know it had been cancelled. I was not the only patient arriving to find out that their tests or x-rays were cancelled today. And, now I have been told I will have to wait another six months while trying to maintain my present medication which may be inappropriate for my condition.

I want to be very clear here: I am not blaming New Brunswick's public workers in the health care sector for the problems I experienced today. I am absolutely blaming their boss, and that's you, Mr Premier.

The health professionals who provide communication and administrative support in the health care system deserve their pay raise, period. In my view, that means potential increased taxes in the future are a small price to pay for continued quality health services. You have to pay people to work. You have to pay people the correct wage to apply for the job and do it well.

You yourself once praised the public sector workers and their 'fair' wages (CBC news November 2). I would like to see the Government of New Brunswick do the one thing it can to to improve the situation, which is to get back to the bargaining table, bargain in good faith, give the workers the fair wages they most definitely deserve, and let the health care system and other public sector workers get back to work to serve the people of New Brunswick.

J.A. Cox