10 Months After PCs Promised to Reduce Reliance on Agency Nurses, Costs Continue to Climb in PMH

June 28, 2023

Treaty 2 Territory, Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Brandon, MB - Ten months after Health Minister Audrey Gordon promised the PCs would reduce spending on private agency nurses, new documents show spending has continued to increase in the Prairie Mountain Health region.  

“The best care at the bedside, comes from nurses who know our communities and our families,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “The PCs said they would decrease reliance on agency nurses, but they’ve done the opposite. It’s clearly Premier Stefanson’s plan to create a crisis in public health care so she can spend millions on private options like agency nurses.” 

The Manitoba NDP released documents that show the PC government spent an additional $24 million on for-profit, private agency nurses in the Prairie Mountain Health region from August 2022 to February 2023, for a monthly average of $3.5 million. This is up from a monthly average of $2 million in 2022 and over four times the $800,000 monthly average spent from 2019 to mid-2021. The Dauphin Regional Health Centre saw the largest spending on private agency nurses of any single health care facility in PMH, at $2.6 million from August 2022 to February 2023. 

Previous NDP Freedom of Information Requests show the PCs spent $24 million on agency nurses in PMH from January 2019 to May 2021, and $10 million from February 2022 to June 2022. This means the PCs have spent the same amount in seven months that they previously spent over the course of nearly two and a half years. 

“Families in Westman want a government that fixes public health care and makes smart investments,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “Our Manitoba NDP team will reset the relationship with nurses to stop them from leaving the system in the first place, and we’ll bring back the nurses that left under Brian Pallister and Premier Stefanson. We’ll make nursing a great job again for the people of Westman and deliver the best quality of care at the bedside.” 

View the FIPPA documents for August 2022 to February 2023February 2022 to June 2022, and January 2019 to May 2021.