May 24, 2023
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg- Families in rural communities are waiting longer for ambulances because Premier Stefanson cut rural health care and refused to give rural paramedics a fair deal. Government documents show there are 87 fewer paramedics working in rural Manitoba since Premier Stefanson was sworn in as Premier.
“Rural paramedics are leaving their jobs at an alarming rate and it’s not hard to see why," said NDP Health Care Critic Uzoma Asagwara. “The level of stress and burnout these dedicated frontline workers face is staggering. As Premier Stefanson continues to close rural hospitals and ambulance stations, rural paramedics are forced to do more with less. This critical staffing shortage is dangerous and will continue to get worse the longer the PCs are in power.”
Government documents show 704 paramedics working in rural health care in 2020-21 and just 617 in 2022-23. Rural paramedics have been without a contract and had their wages frozen since 2017 while the cost of living has increased by 20%. In April 2023, 99% of Allied Health Professionals, including rural paramedics, voted to strike.
“Our Manitoba NDP team is ready to implement the common sense solutions needed to fix this staffing crisis and rebuild rural health care,” said Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “We will give rural paramedics a fair deal, pay them the same wages as their Winnipeg counterparts, and allow Advanced Care Paramedics to work to the full scope of their practice.
These are solutions paramedics have brought to the Premier and her Health Minister for years, but the PCs refused to act. We will, and we’ll give rural communities better health care and a brighter future.”
You can see the FIPPA documents here.