Winnipeg, MB—The Pallister government laid out their plan today for further cuts and closures in rural and northern Manitoba.
"With Mr. Pallister, it’s not what he says but what he does. When he announced health care changes in his last term, he ended up closing three emergency rooms, firing nurses and throwing our system into
chaos. Now, he’s unveiled a plan to bring those same cuts to rural and northern Manitoba,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “By refusing to learn any lessons from his last health care disaster Mr. Pallister is
setting up a plan that will see higher wait times for patients, chaos and confusion for nurses and doctors and poorer health outcomes for Manitobans.”
Pallister unveiled the second phase of his health care cuts in a several hundred-page document written by Deloitte consultants that used management jargon to mask a plan to close rural emergency rooms and
cut the health care services rural and northern families rely on. The report indicated rural hospitals would be closed but failed to name which communities would be affected. It also revealed a plan to cut and privatize health transportation services for patients and make it harder for them to travel to Winnipeg to see specialists.
Pallister’s report made clear his plan is focused on saving money, not improving the health outcomes of Manitobans. It fails to:
• Create a strategy to recruit and retain doctors and nurses in rural and northern communities;
• Set goals to improve public health outcomes by reducing rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases;
• Invest in prevention by strengthening primary health care and helping families access nutritional foods and recreation opportunities;
• Consult with patients, families and front-line workers like nurses and doctors to put patient care first in every initiative;
• Address widespread vacancies in regional health authorities, including the WRHA, which have been generated by Pallister’s cuts; and
• Acknowledge the damages Pallister’s cuts have caused to our system including increasing wait times, cancelling surgeries and putting unsustainable pressure on remaining hospitals.
“NDP MLAs continue to get calls from patients whose health is impacted by Mr. Pallister’s cuts. Yet before he had even stabilized the situation in Winnipeg emergency rooms, the Premier is rushing ahead with more closures and cuts for rural and northern families,