Community Task Force to Tackle Sackville Hospital Cuts

The Memramcook-Tantramar Community Task Force (formerly the Tantramar Covid-19 Task Force) has embraced the work of the Ad Hoc Committee that formed recently to address the reduction in Emergency Services at the Sackville Memorial Hospital, and to work toward developing a longer-term strategy to build equity, efficiency and effectiveness in rural health for Memramcook and Tantramar.

Now called the “Rural Health Action Group”, members will continue to provide informed thinking, and offer constructive, innovative alternatives to past practices, including offering assistance to the Horizon Health Network in recruitment of medical personnel, and working toward the implementation of the rural health vision provided by the Town of Sackville to the Minister of Health in June 2021.

The Task Force is a collaborative of individuals and organizations, positioned to share information, and improve the health and well-being of the region as we emerge from the pandemic. Issues of priority to the region are addressed through the expertise and work of “Action Groups” of volunteer and community representatives, for nimble and proactive responses. Margaret Tusz-King and Pat Estabrooks are co-chairing this initiative.

Margaret Tusz-King notes that fair access to appropriate and timely preventative and acute care is a cornerstone determinant of health, affecting the wellbeing of everyone in the region. The Task Force’s multi-sectoral representation makes it a fitting place to house a longer-term approach to solutions. Pat Estabrooks adds that this is not the first time our region has had to consolidate its efforts around access to healthcare; rural wellbeing needs to be a priority for decision-makers.

The Memramcook-Tantramar Community Task Force has the support of local mayors.  “A regional approach to both the hospital and broader health services is preferred, and the Memramcook-Tantramar Community Task Force, supported by local governments throughout Tantramar and Memramcook, provides the best opportunity to fulfil the regional health vision,” said Sackville Mayor Shawn Mesheau.   “I am confident that the [Task Force] is in the best position to advocate for our rural health concerns.”

The Task Force is not meant to replace existing organizations, nor limit actions others in the region may feel are required.

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