FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Health released its 2022-23 budget estimates today.

“Our government is committed to improving health care, and our budget will allow us to continue to build a safe and stabilized health-care system that is responsive to the needs of patients and communities,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard.

This year’s $3.2-billion budget represents an increase of $168.5 million, the largest increase since 2008-09. It supports increases to Public Health and addiction and mental health services, and includes a greater focus on the recruitment and retention of health-care workers. The aim is to stabilize and strengthen New Brunswick’s health-care system, making it more citizen-focused, accessible, accountable, inclusive and service-oriented.

The budget includes:

  • Investing $38 million in the government’s health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action, which has five action areas:
    • access to primary health care
    • access to surgery
    • create a connected system
    • access to addiction and mental health services
    • support seniors to age in place
  • Investing $74.7 million in Public Health services, which includes funding for universal influenza and COVID-19 vaccination programs and new positions.
  • Investing $174.9 million in addiction and mental health services and the continued implementation of the Inter-Departmental Addiction and Mental Health Action Plan.

This year’s $103.8-million capital budget projects include:

  • $11.59 million for the maternal newborn unit project at the Moncton Hospital
  • $23.3 million for additions and renovations at the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst
  • $40.15 million for the addition and renovation project at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton
  • $5.34 million for construction of the addiction and rehabilitation centre in Campbellton
  • $13.4 million for work on a new medical and surgical intensive care unit and an oncology unit at Saint John Regional Hospital, as well as improvements to the New Brunswick Heart Centre.

The department will work with the regional health authorities to determine how to distribute $49.4 million for capital equipment and improvements.