06/13/2012 10:39 EDT | Updated 08/13/2012 05:12 EDT

New Brunswick health minister to conduct consultations for new health plan

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's health minister hits the road next week to begin gathering input for a new provincial health plan.

Madeleine Dube will hold public meetings in nine communities, starting Monday.

Premier David Alward says his government is committed to protecting the health care system, but the cost is at a tipping point.

He says at $3.1 billion a year, the health care budget is rapidly squeezing out the government's ability to do anything else.

The Conservative government has not fulfilled a commitment to increase health spending by at least three per cent a year.

Liberal health critic Bill Fraser says that has resulted in cuts to front line health care workers.