by Tegwyn Hughes
Posted on August 17, 2020
This article is the first in a two-part series about Clinic 554 and health care in New Brunswick.
In the Greater Toronto Area, there are nine locations where someone can access abortion services. In the entire province of New Brunswick, there are only four. Come September, that number could shrink to three, worsening the already poor access to abortion care in the province.
Clinic 554, New Brunswick’s only independent clinic that offers abortions—as well as family medicine, trans-inclusive care, and contraception counselling—is set to close permanently at the end of September. Advocates for the Fredericton, N.B. clinic, as well as former patients, are urging the provincial government to save it, but the Progressive Conservative leadership hasn’t budged.
Abortion Is An Essential Service, But The Pandemic Is Making It Harder To Access
Travelling for abortion care is even harder when the coronavirus has shut everything down.
By Maija Kappler
Canada’s provincial and territorial governments have deemed abortion an essential medical service, and one that continues to be available during the COVID-19 pandemic. But reproductive health advocates say existing barriers to abortion access have become even more significant now.
Calls to a 24-hour info line provided by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights increased by 30 per cent in the last two weeks of March, according to communications director Laura Neidhart.
Clinic 554, Fredericton Abortion Clinic That Also Supports LGBTQ Patients, Set To Close
The clinic's director, along with Jagmeet Singh, want the federal government to intervene.
By Maija Kappler
New Brunswick’s only freestanding abortion clinic, which also provides health care to much of the province’s transgender population, is set to close.
Clinic 554 has previously relied on crowdsourced donations to stay open, and the staff sometimes forgoes payment from patients in order to provide services.
“We feel a tremendous amount of fear for our patients and the underserved communities we care for,” Clinic 554’s medical director, Dr. Adrian Edgar, said in an emotional statement posted to Facebook. “I thought I would be the family doctor for my patients until I or they died.”
New Brunswick Health Minister is “willfully incompetent” says doctor
Written by Susan O'Donnell
on August 16, 2019
Health Minister and lawyer Ted Flemming knowingly permits New Brunswick to contravene the Canada Health Act, the federal law regulating payment of health services. New Brunswick doctor Adrian Edgar says this indicates Flemming is “willfully incompetent” and has called for his resignation.
The Canada Health Act ensures that eligible Canadian residents can access health services approved by Medicare on a prepaid basis, without direct charges at the point of service. Most doctors across Canada operate from private facilities, billing their provincial government for Medicare services. In New Brunswick, the province pays for all Medicare services provided by doctors in private facilities, except abortions.