February 9, 2021
Treaty 2 Territory, Homeland of the Dakota Nation, Brandon, MB – At the height of the second wave of the pandemic, Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in the Prairie Mountain Health Region (PMH) were understaffed by more than 19%, leaving the most vulnerable patients with less care at the bedside when they needed it most.
“Having a loved one admitted to the ICU is one of the scariest things a family can endure. The last thing families need at this time is to worry whether or not their loved one is getting the direct care they need,” said Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “Yet the PCs let ICUs in Prairie Mountain Health go understaffed at the peak of the second wave. This is completely irresponsible. They had time to hire more nurses and prepare for the second wave in Prairie Mountain Health but they did nothing. Families deserve a government that does everything it can to ensure their loved ones get the best care when they need it most.”
The Manitoba NDP learned of the vacancy rates through Freedom of Information requests. They also learned the PC government cut four healthcare positions within PMH over the last year, including a Director of Primary Care. These cuts weakened an already overburdened healthcare system, making it harder for families to access the healthcare they need during the pandemic.
“Healthcare workers in ICUs are committed to providing the very best care to our loved ones in times of crisis,” said NDP Healthcare critic Uzoma Asagwara. “But this government made it harder for nurses and healthcare workers to help patients recover by refusing to spend the money to hire more staff. These cuts and vacancies show, yet again, the PCs disrespect for nurses and health care workers. Manitobans deserve a government that respects the dedication of our healthcare workers and puts patient care first.”