New Brunswick's auditor general warns of crisis in nursing home sector

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FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's auditor general is warning of a crisis in the nursing home sector if the government doesn't address the shortage of spaces.

Kim Adair-MacPherson says the number of seniors in the province is expected to double by 2036 and there are currently almost 800 seniors waiting for a nursing home placement.

She says it's unclear how the province plans to address the demand.

Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch says 600 new nursing home beds will be opened over the next five years.

He says the procedure the government uses to request proposals for new nursing homes has been streamlined, which he says should speed things up.

Cecile Cassista, executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents Rights, says the government should concentrate on helping seniors remain in their own homes instead of putting them into nursing residences.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021.

The Canadian Press