Fredericton — The worst fears of health-care stakeholders were realized today as Medavie Health Services announced new cost-saving measures in its administration of the Tele-Care and Extra-Mural programs.
Medavie’s takeover of these two health-care programs was effective on Jan. 1. Medavie will now operate these services on behalf of the Department of Health, in addition to the Ambulance New Brunswick services that it already operates.
Now in control, Medavie announced new cost-saving measures today to help the government “find new efficiencies” in the delivery of health-care services. Medavie CEO and former Tory premier Bernard Lord announced the service changes at a press briefing earlier this morning.
“First and foremost, we are changing Tele-Care from 811 to a 1-900 number,” said Lord. “Lonely New Brunswickers with the sniffles get on the phone with those nurses and talk their ears off all day. From now on, if they want to chit-chat it will cost them $4.95 per minute.”
Lord encouraged New Brunswickers to dial the 1-900-GET-WELL number very carefully. “If you somehow misdial the 1-900 number, you may end up getting a completely different kind of service. A lot more expensive too.”
Other new changes to Medavie health-care services include:
- New Brunswickers will now be able to call an ambulance using an Uber-like app. The paramedics and patients will be able to rate each other from 1 to 5 stars.
- Extra-Mural nurses will begin selling oxygen tanks — buy one, get the second for 50% off (limited time offer!).
- Medavie will offer new “economy” catheters. “Premium” catheters are still available for a nominal fee.
- Tipping is not mandatory but definitely encouraged (see above catheter bullet).
“Medavie and I are totally committed to New Brunswickers,” said Lord. “Don’t forget, it wasn’t all that long ago that I was the handsome, young boy-wonder New Brunswick premier. Brian Gallant and I have a lot in common that way. We both became interested in politics at an early age. Also, we are both lawyers.
“And, we both can’t stand Shawn Graham.”