Office of the Official Opposition 

Furey's Lack of Trust in Caucus Leaves Health Ministry Without Full-Time Leadership


For Immediate Release

(July 9, 2024, St. John’s, N.L.) – Conception Bay South MHA Barry Petten, PC Shadow Minister for Health, said the Health Ministry absolutely needs a full-time minister, so it was shocking to see Premier Furey tag the Justice and Public Safety Minister with overseeing it in his spare time.


"No department is larger, spends more money, impacts people's lives more profoundly, or faces a greater crisis than Health.  It simply cannot function – even for a few weeks – without a full-time minister's constant, undivided attention. Does Mr. Furey have no faith in his caucus that he cannot find anyone to oversee the Health ministry full-time?" asked Petten.


Petten noted that the Justice and Public Safety portfolio is exceptionally demanding, covering areas such as corrections, the planned new penitentiary, policing amidst rising crime rates, public safety, and the significant impacts of untreated addictions. This leaves little time for the acting Minister to get up to speed on critical health files.


"Someone has to focus on that job as well, and it is unreasonable to think one minister can do a proper job overseeing both," added Petten. "Things are going to get missed, mistakes are going to happen, actions are going to be delayed, and people's lives and well-being may be jeopardized simply because this Premier won't do his job of assigning tasks responsibly."


"By appointing a part-time Minister, the Premier shows a blatant disregard for the well-being of tens of thousands of people and patients in our province – from seniors to people waiting for surgery, to people waiting for mental health care, to people without primary care or emergency room access – who cannot access timely health care because the Furey Liberals cannot get the job done."