February 22, 2021
Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg, MB – The Pallister government has refused to take steps to address the nursing shortage in Manitoba despite forming a Nursing Workforce Stabilization Group 15 months ago. Documents obtained by the Manitoba NDP through Freedom of Information Requests show the group has not spent any funds and does not have frontline nurses on its membership.
“Manitobans want the best quality of care for their loved ones,” said Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “But the PCs cuts have weakened our healthcare system and made it harder for patients to get the care they need. We know there are nursing shortages across the province and yet, even in the middle of a pandemic, the PCs still refuse to hire more nurses.”
Since its inception the Nursing Workforce Stabilization Project hasn’t put a single dollar toward the effort to hire more nurses. In addition, there are no frontline nurses included in its staff composition. According to government records the Stabilization project is responsible for changes to onboarding and training which have been publicly criticized by nurses.
“In the middle of the worst health crisis our province has ever seen, families want their government to focus on healthcare,” said NDP Critic for Healthcare Uzoma Asagwara. “But these documents show the PCs are only interested in appearing to focus on healthcare when their real agenda is to cut costs. No real work has been done since this project was launched. No frontline nurses have been a part of this group. And nothing has changed. It’s time for the government to focus on healthcare and hire more nurses.”