Health professionals, community organizers and political party representatives gathered at the New Brunswick Legislature early on the morning of June 29th in opposition to the Alward government’s cuts to sexual health clinics in the province. The gathering coincided with a government meeting to discuss the cuts.
Tania D’Aluisio-Tyler, the organizer of the gathering, noted that three doctors at the Fredericton Sexual Health Clinic have quit in protest of the province’s decision to reduce the clinic’s services. The clinic that once served women up to the age of 24 years old will now only serve women up to the age of 19. The hours of the clinic have also been reduced from six to two hours per week.
D’Aluisio-Tyler noted the rise of chlamydia and the lack of accessible pap test services for women in the province as reasons to oppose the cuts.
According to the New Brunswick Department of Health, chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection, is the most common illness reported to Public Health in New Brunswick. The infection particularly affects females and males between the ages of 15 to 29 years old.
Bill Fraser, the Liberal Opposition Health critic, said he had raised concerns with this budget cut in the Legislative Assembly last month. Dominic Cardy, leader of the NB NDP, noted that the cuts were ideological. Nick Scott, executive director of AIDS NB, called for grassroot responses to the cuts.
Tracy Glynn is a writer and editor with the NB Media Co-op.