New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says concerns and fears expressed since his government announced a plan to close emergency rooms overnight in six community hospitals led him to reverse course.

Higgs issued a statement saying he was cancelling the closures, scheduled to take effect next month, in order to allow for community consultations.

The plan would have involved the closure of Emergency rooms in Perth-Andover and Grand Falls between the hour of midnight and 8 a.m.

The plan sparked a backlash after it was announced a week ago, from the affected communities, health professionals, opposition parties and members of Higgs own minority Tory government.

The reforms were intended to address a shortage in human resources and an aging population, diverting resources from emergency rooms to improve mental health services and long-term care.

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