June 29, 2021
Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB— Pregnant mothers are now being transferred from The Pas hospital to Thompson, Brandon and Winnipeg because of the PCs refusal to properly staff the Obstetrics care unit the Manitoba NDP has learned.
“The PCs are effectively ending obstetrics services in The Pas. It is alarming that soon-to-be mothers and parents in the North now have to travel as far away as Winnipeg to get the care they need during their pregnancy" said Amanda Lathlin, MLA for The Pas-Kameesak. “Expectant parents should be able to access obstetrics services in their community and not be forced to travel long distances to receive health care for their family.”
In 2018 the PCs closed down Obstetrics care in Flin Flon, putting mothers and babies at risk while forcing them to travel to The Pas. Now mothers and babies will have to travel even farther. Since then, the PCs have failed to invest in Obstetrics care in the North. Instead of addressing the staffing shortage in the North, the PCs are refusing to hire permanent nurses. A FIPPA document shows that over $200,000 was spent on agency nurses in The Pas from January 2020 to January 2021. In total the PCs spent 7.5 million on agency nurses for all Northern communities this past year.
“This government has disrespected our nurses, and now families are paying the price. The PCs must invest in Northern Obstetrics so that Northern families can access reliable health care in their community,” said Tom Lindsey, MLA for Flin Flon. “The recruitment and retention of Northern nurses must become an immediate priority for the PC government.