MONCTON, N.B. — The Muslim community in Moncton, N.B., is calling for change after one of its members died Wednesday while waiting for care in a New Brunswick emergency room.
Abdal Khan, president of the Moncton Muslim Association, says the New Brunswick government must do something about its struggling health-care system.
Khan said in an interview that he is also calling for an independent, external investigation into the circumstances of the man's death, whose name he withheld in order to protect his privacy.
He says the man died early on Wednesday at the Moncton Hospital after waiting in the emergency room for over five hours.
Dr. Serge Melanson, a spokesman for the province's Horizon Health Network, said Thursday that the emergency department was in a "critical overcapacity state" at the time of the man's death.
The Moncton Muslim Association held a rally on Saturday at the hospital to demand that the province address the overcrowding issue in its health-care system.
"This tragedy is not just a tragedy for one community, it's a tragedy for all Canadians," Khan said. "Because it's happening everywhere, for everyone. And we need to fix the system."
Khan said the man who died was an "integral part" of the local Muslim community and an active volunteer. The man had a wife and five children whom he loved deeply, Khan said.
"He was always taking care of his family and friends, he would go above and beyond to help others," Khan said. "He was always smiling. I don't remember a time that you'd meet him and he's not smiling."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2022.
The Canadian Press