Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB – The Manitoba NDP is demanding that the provincial government maintain an adequate stockpile supply of medical personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, in order to protect workers and families in the case of a future pandemic.
“Many Manitobans have risked their lives due to a lack of protective equipment and we’ve seen the challenge of trying to find these supplies at the last minute - surge prices, unavailability and being outbid by other competitors,” said Kinew. “We should never have to source life-saving protective equipment in the midst of a crisis again.
”Kinew introduced Bill 213, the Personal Protective Equipment Reporting Act, in the Legislature today. The bill would require the government to publicly report on the number of PPE held by health authorities annually.
Healthcare and frontline workers have expressed concerns regarding the lack of gloves, N95 masks, disposable gowns, and hand sanitizer. Shortages have led to rationing of supplies and prohibitions on health care workers from wearing PPE during some procedures that would normally require it. Nurses have urged the provincial government to give them the ability to self-determine when PPE should be worn.
Kinew noted the province has so far refused to say how much they have spent on PPE.
“COVID-19 showed us the Pallister government was unprepared for a massive outbreak in Manitoba,” said Kinew. “Healthcare and frontline workers need to be protected for their safety and so that our healthcare system can respond to the crisis properly. The Premier should be transparent with Manitobans about how much he has spent on PPE and how much he is continuing to purchase.”
The Official Opposition remains committed to working with the provincial government in the fight against COVID-19.