JointHealth™ express   September 4, 2020

On election day, make your voice count.

The general election in New Brunswick is scheduled for September 14, 2020. What changes would you like to see in arthritis models of care?

Arthritis is Canada’s most prevalent disease. And it’s far more serious than most people realize. Approximately one in five adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Two-thirds are under the age of 65. It’s common among athletes and those with physically demanding jobs. In fact, arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of work disability in New Brunswick and the rest of Canada.

Arthritis has devastating and debilitating effects on the lives of more than 150,000 New Brunswick residents living with arthritis. Within a generation and as one of the provinces with the greatest number of senior residents, the number of New Brunswick residents with the most disabling and life-threatening types – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – is expected to significantly increase. To effectively treat and manage arthritis, the next elected New Brunswick government must improve the level of arthritis prevention, treatment and care.

One of the most important voices in discussions about health care belongs to those most affected by health policy—the person living with chronic disease (or "consumer"). As people living with chronic disease, consumers can provide critically important perspectives in discussions about health policy; yet too often, consumers' voices are not heard.

Think about it. Who has a more intimate understanding of the strengths and weaknesses existing in the health care system than a person who must navigate it daily? Who knows more about the importance of being able to access the very best, most effective medicines? Who knows more about the damage that poorly considered health policy can do to flesh and bone? Who cares more about your quality of life and your ability to work, care for your family, and participate in society? The answer to all of these questions is clear: You do. And that’s why, it is important you make your voice heard in the upcoming New Brunswick provincial election on September 14, 2020.

To help you with your decision, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) sent an open letter and a survey to candidates running in the New Brunswick election, asking each candidate to share how their government can improve arthritis prevention, treatment and care in New Brunswick.

The questionnaire asked the following questions:
  1. What will your government do to bring a high quality, accessible, standardized evidence-based model of arthritis care for all New Brunswick residents?
  2. What will your government do to ensure the continuation, improvement, and expansion of virtual care for all New Brunswick residents – both patients and health care professionals?
  3. What will your government do to improve the uptake of biosimilars and reinvest biosimilars cost savings to increase accessibility to new medicines and expand coverage for existing medicines for New Brunswick residents living with complex chronic disease like inflammatory arthritis?
  4. What will your government do to improve the healthcare and lives of Indigenous peoples living with arthritis in New Brunswick?
  5. Will your government take steps to ensure timely, specialized care for New Brunswick patients with arthritis, including joint surgery wait times that are within medically recommended guidelines? How will your government manage the backlog of surgical appointments that occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
ACE will be collecting Party and individual candidate’s responses. Responses will be posted on the New Brunswick Election 2020 page as we receive them.

If you have comments, questions, or concerns about any of the answers provided, please take the time to contact the parties. Did their responses help you decide how you will vote? Tell us what you think of their answers. Please contact us by email.