Pediatric society downgrades rating of N.B.’s child death review system – New Brunswick

A national organization has downgraded its ranking of New Brunswick’s child death review system, saying it needs to be more transparent.

The Canadian Pediatric Society said it would review its 2016 ranking, after CBC News raised concerns about the province’s secretive child death review process.

New Brunswick’s ranking has been changed from “excellent” to “good,” with a note that says “public reporting” of child deaths “should be more transparent and include more details.”

The report was repeatedly cited by government officials as proof that New Brunswick has one of the best systems in the country.

“We were rated excellent,” cabinet minister Serge Rousselle said in March.

“So we must be doing something good.”

Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle has previously cited New Brunswick’s ‘excellent’ ranking by the Canadian Pediatric Society as proof the province has a good child death review system. (CBC)

New Brunswick’s downgraded rating is better than Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, which were ranked “fair” and “poor.”

But it falls behind the “excellent” ratings given to Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman has been aware of the downgrade since April, the society says.

CBC News is attempting to reach a government spokesperson about the downgraded rating and call for more transparency.

Pediatrician ‘surprised’ by excellent ranking

At least one member of the province’s child death review committee has questioned the province’s “excellent rating.”

The committee, made up of experts like doctors and a police officer, review the deaths of all children known to the minister of social development. Their findings are presented to the chief coroner, with the goal of preventing similar deaths in the future.

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