Health Care workers in New Brunswick: Graham vs Alward

  New Brunswick Liberal Leader Brian Gallant opened up the second day of the 38th General Election in his province in Rexton, talking about the Liberal plan to improve healthcare delivery. [Read the plan here]  



On Twitter (where all the fun stuff takes place nowadays in election campaigns), the incumbent Progressive Conservatives had something to say about this:



But here’s some more data on the state of health care in New Brunswick, courtesy of Table 282-0009 from Statistics Canada. That table lets you take a look at the number of health care workers in each province over any number of years. You can slice the numbers to make it look both good and bad for Premier Alward’s government.

The bad? In the last 12 months — comparing July 2014 to July 2013 — New Brunswick has lost a whopping 3,600 doctors, dentists, registered nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals (Statscan lumps veterinarians into this category so take that for what it’s worth).  That’s a drop of 24% in just one year. Looking at those who are medical imaging specialists, technicians, opticians, dental hygienists and other “Technical and Related Occupations in Health”,  the news is not so grim.  The number of technical health care workers increased by 1,000 or 6.9%

NOTE: Click through here to review how Statscan divvies up health care occupations. Health care professionals are in categories (and subcategories) of  DO and D1. The “Technical and Related Occupations” are in category (and subcategories of) D2 and D3.

The good? After four years of government, the Alward government record on boosting the number of health care workers in the province is a bit better than his Liberal predecessor Shawn Graham. From September 2010, the date of the last general election, to July 2014, there are 500 fewer doctors, nurses and health care professionals in the province, a decrease of 4.2%. (That includes the exodus of the last year). Graham also saw 500 health care professionals leave his province during his four years in power, a decrease of 4.1%.

But Graham also saw 700 who worked in technical and related occupations in health leave, a drop of 5.15%. Four years of Alward has left the province with 2,600 more workers in this category  for an increase of 20%

Overall, there are now 26,800 health care workers now in New Brunswick (professional and technical) compared to 24,700 when Alward took over from Graham in 2010 and 25,900 when Graham took over from Bernard Lord.

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