The Higgs government was elected on promises of reform within government. The Premier has no patience for deficits so paying down provincial debt has been a huge priority. He has turned his attention, equally, to the long-standing call to reform local government which Jean Guy Finn identified, in his landmark report, as long overdue in this small province struggling to grow and develop. Education has been another area targeted for reform and there have been, Covid notwithstanding, some inroads apparently.
Health has been, as Jeffrey Simpson pointed out in his book Chronic Condition in 2012, the area fraught with incredible political minefields. In February 2020, government released its initial plan for Health Care Reform. To financial people, it made sense: cut the loss leaders, a first principle of successful business. But health and long-term care is not about financial logic but about providing what the population believes to be efficient, safe, quality service within reasonable driving distance. The plan, as announced, backfired and was one large embarrassment to government.
Ken McGeorge, BS,DHA,CHE is a career health care executive based in Fredericton, NB, Canada.