The government understands that advancing women’s health through equitable access to health services will have a positive effect on the quality of life of New Brunswickers.
First and foremost, we need to ensure women have access to appropriate services for their specific health-care needs and that their health-care rights are protected.
Preventative care and access to health services:
- New Brunswick’s screening programs help detect cancer in its earliest stages. Screenings for breast and cervical cancers have been longstanding within the province. However, there are additional measures we can still take towards prevention.
- The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the major causes of cervical cancer. While a HPV school immunization program for girls has been in place since 2008, studies show there is greater success of prevention if the population at large is vaccinated. Effective September 2017, New Brunswick will provide the HPV vaccine to Grade 7 boys, in addition to girls. Vaccinating boys will help promote herd immunity in the population and protect the health of young women in New Brunswick for years to come.
- Community health and wellness centres in Fredericton and Charlotte County opened in 2017. These centres provide women and families with more access to primary care in addition to services and wellness programs designed specifically for women.
Reproductive and gender health:
- Midwifery is being introduced in New Brunswick. A demonstration site has been established in Fredericton bringing four midwives into the health-care system. The site will be managed by Horizon Health Network.
- The introduction of midwives to the province not only provides additional access to primary care, but presents more options for pregnant women and growing families. Midwives provide safe, high quality care for routine pregnancies and births.
- The government is continuing to work to remove barriers to a woman’s right to choose and to ensure women have access to reproductive choices.
- As of January 1, 2015, reproductive health procedures have been placed in the same category as any insured medical service. This was accomplished by eliminating the requirement that two doctors provide written certification the procedure is medically required before receiving access to abortion services. The government also removed legislation stipulating the services must be provided by a specialist.
- The government has been working with authorities to improve timeliness of access to services and access to non-judgmental information.
- In March 2016, the government expanded the sexual health program to include all New Brunswickers. Before this expansion, services under this program were only available to those 19 years of age and under.
- Mifegymiso was made available free of charge to women in New Brunswick when the Medical Abortion Program was launched on June 28, 2017. New Brunswick was the first province to provide universal coverage of Mifegymiso. Mifegymiso is a combination drug product used for the termination of pregnancy up to 49 days.
- In June 2016, the government announced it is moving forward with plans to make medically necessary gender-confirming surgeries an insured service in New Brunswick, as well as proceeding with plans to allow transgender individuals to change their birth certificates to match their gender identities.
Updated: August 2017
MEDIA CONTACT(S): Véronique Taylor, communications, Department of Health, (506) 444-4583, email@example.com