April 26, 2022
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB – Families in rural Manitoba are waiting longer for emergency care under the PCs. Yesterday in Question Period the Manitoba NDP tabled documents that show ambulances were out of service for over 19,000 hours in December 2021, an increase as high as 35% in some areas over the last 3 years.
“When you call 9-1-1, you need an ambulance to hit the road right away, but that’s just not the case in rural Manitoba under the PCs,” said NDP health care critic Uzoma Asagwara. “The PC government has known about the rural paramedic staffing crisis for over a year but instead of coming up with solutions they are letting wait times get longer and longer while families and frontline health care workers pay the price. Rural families deserve a government that fixes the staffing problem and ensures they can get care when they need it.”
The Monthly Ground EMS report for December 2021 shows the number of hours ambulances were out of service in rural Manitoba due to staffing shortages has skyrocketed since the beginning of 2021. Wait times are their highest in the Interlake where response times have climbed 35% since 2018. The data shows it takes 25% longer for an ambulance to arrive in Russell today than it did in 2018 and 50% longer in Dauphin.
“Rural seniors and families have been coming to us with their health care stories looking for solutions and someone to fight for them,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “We know what needs to be done to fix the paramedic staffing crisis in rural Manitoba. The PCs need to pay rural paramedics fair and competitive wages and allow them to work to the full scope of their practice. The PCs need to implement these solutions so rural families can get the care they need close to home.”