PC Health Care Dysfunction Apparent with MRI and Palliative Care Issues


Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB—The Manitoba NDP will continue to raise health care issues directly to the Stefanson government today, and have invited two Manitobans with lived experience in the health care system to watch the PCs respond in Question Period.

In December 2022, Jeffrey Bresler was told it would take “several weeks” to even receive confirmation of an appointment for a brain MRI. Two months later, no appointment has been scheduled. A letter from a Shared Health officials reveals there are more than 1,000 people waiting to have their MRIs scheduled.

Mr. Bresler learned health officials are now deliberating about changing the time frame on the letter to indicate a several months wait - however are not informing patients of the change or addressing the underlying cause.

“This really shows you the extent of the damage PC cuts have done to our health care system. There’s a waitlist for the waitlist,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “While the PCs desperately try to change the channel and hold announcements, Manitobans are waiting—sometimes in pain and uncertainty—for the diagnostic care they need. It’s time for some real action on diagnostic care.”

Marilyn Zachariah’s elderly mother, a retired nurse with renal and heart failure who was admitted several times to Victoria Hospital, was told by hospital officials she would be discharged “to a shelter specifically Main Street Project because they have medical staff on hand”. Mrs. Zachariah was in the midst of challenging the hospital’s decision to discharge her mother, pointing to clinical advice from doctors. Eventually, after pressure, Mrs. Zachariah agreed to bring her mother home but four days later she had to be admitted into palliative care at Riverview Health Centre.

As a Southdale constituent, Mrs. Zachariah met with Health Minister Audrey Gordon twice asking for support in getting her mother paneled for long-term care. Twice, the Minister promised to help with her case but no action was taken.

“When an elderly parent or loved one is at the end of life, no family should have plead to the case for them to receive medical care,” said NDP Health Critic Uzoma Asagwara. “Health care workers are doing their best under impossible circumstances to deliver dignity and comfort to their patients, but PC cuts mean our hospitals are overcrowded and understaffed. The PCs failed to show accountability for this family and many others. Manitobans deserve better.”