Health / Office of the Premier

24/7 medical coverage being restored in Caraquet; work continues to establish ambulance stop (10/07/11)

NB 1168

July 11, 2010

CARAQUET (CNB) - Twenty-four-hour medical services will be restored at the Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus de Caraquet in September, and work continues to establish an ambulance stop at the facility. Premier Shawn Graham made the announcement today.

"The Vitalité Health Network has shown leadership in its work to restore 24-hour medical services in Caraquet as part of its ongoing commitment to this facility," said Graham. "Today's announcement builds upon our government's Dialogue Santé community-engagement process, which has improved health-care services on the Acadian Peninsula."

The Vitalité Health Network is recruiting the required number of qualified health-care professionals to restore 24-hour medical coverage at the hospital. The Vitalité Health Network is working in collaboration with medical staff at the hospital in planning the project.

While medical services will be restored in September, an ambulance stop will be put in place once additional staff are recruited to ensure a sustainable and safe emergency-medical service. The Department of Health will provide one-time funding of up to $3.5 million as well as ongoing funding of up to $3 million to support this initiative.

It is estimated that, once an ambulance stop is in place, the hospital will support 30,000 emergency room visits each year.

"Our government fully supports the measures that the regional health authority has undertaken to ensure an ambulance stop is established in Caraquet," said the premier. "The Department of Health has received the mandate to facilitate the realization of this project."

Twenty-four hour medical services at the Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus de Caraquet were removed in 2005-06, leaving Tracadie-Sheila as the only community on the Acadian Peninsula with 24-hour medical services.

The restoration of 24-hour medical services is one of a series of recent improvements made to the Caraquet-based hospital, including the provision of medical education internships and the addition of eight acute-care beds and four palliative care beds.

10/07/11

MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Andrée Bolduc, communications, Department of Health, 506-444-3506.

10/07/11