Fewer Front Line Workers At Bedside Across Westman

October 15, 2020

New information obtained by the Manitoba NDP shows vacancy rates for front line healthcare workers in Prairie Mountain Health are either consistently poor or worsening over the past year.

“Over the past year we have seen the vacancy rate shoot up for essential front-line healthcare workers - that’s fewer nurses, aides, and workers at the bedside,” said Wab Kinew, leader of the Manitoba NDP. “Instead of investing in new healthcare workers across Westman, the Premier is moving forward with a plan for cuts and closures - it has to stop, especially during the pandemic,” said Kinew.

In March 2019, Allied Health workers - including lab technicians - had a 15% vacancy rate in Prairie Mountain Regional Health Authority (PMHRA). As of August 31, 2020, the vacancy rate for Allied Health workers in PMRHA is now 25%.

In March 2019, the vacancy rate in PMRHA was 11% for health care aides. As of August 31 this year, the vacancy rate is now 16.5%. In March 2019, there was a 4% vacancy rate for pharmacists. As of August 31, 2020, it's now 14%.

With respect to nurses, the vacancy rate for licensed practical nurses went from 20% in March 2019 to 22% in August 31, 2020. The vacancy rate for registered nurses effectively remained the same at 20%.

At specific sites, the situation is worse. The Dauphin Health Centre now has a vacancy rate of 31% while the Dauphin PCH has a vacancy rate of 60%. Ste. Rose's healthcare centre has a vacancy rate of 27%. Swan River Health Centre has a vacancy rate of 25%.

“We need a real plan today to hire and recruit more healthcare workers in Westman - the Roblin Emergency Room has already closed due to staff cuts and a refusal by this government to invest,” said Kinew. “That’s why we’re calling on the government to stop the implementation of their plans for cuts and consolidation across rural Manitoba.”