February 8, 2023
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB— A range of provincial documents depicting long delays for health services, staggering overtime and vacancy rates for staff and bed shortages prove the Premier Heather Stefanson’s PC government has done damage to Manitoba’s health care system.
“The Premier needs to target funding to the areas in health care that need it most,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “We’re out of time for the Premier to make vague statements in Ottawa—we need concrete action here in Manitoba. Families want a plan to start fixing the cuts the PCs have made to emergency care, surgical services and staffing, but they also want a government with vision for a system that aims higher.”
FIPPA documents show vacancies for home care workers increased from 2021 to 2022, with over 390 positions left vacant in Winnipeg region alone. At the same time, the number of hours of care provided to seniors dropped from 2.8 million in 2017/18 to 2.6 million in 2021/22. FIPPA documents show the Government cancelled nearly 2,000 surgeries last year from January to October. At the same time, documents show the occupancy rate for critical care beds at Health Sciences Centre were close to 100% for the entire year between September 2021 and September 2022.
Premier Stefanson has refused to say whether she would use potential new money at the bedside. The PCs have consistently used federal funds, like pandemic funding, to backfill their own cuts
“Manitoba families aren’t interested in political theatre – they want a government that will take action on fixing health care,” said Uzoma Asagwara NDP critic for health care. “The Premier can dither all she likes but the fact is, our health care system is in worse shape than when she took office and she needs to act now. On behalf of all Manitobans, we’re calling on the Premier to commit to spending all the Federal funding at the bedside and fight for our families not her own career.”
FIPPAs can be viewed here.