October 12, 2021
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB—Today the Manitoba NDP released government documents that show the PCs have refused to spend money their own government allocated for clearing the surgery backlog.
“Manitobans are living with pain and uncertainty every day because the PCs refuse to spend money on surgeries,” said Kinew. “Surgeons, doctors and patients have been speaking out about the surgery backlog for months and it turns out this whole time the PCs have been sitting on money to address it. The PCs need to quit making excuses and take action today to help Manitobans get their lives back.”
In March 2021, the PC government announced $50 million to clear the surgical backlog. However, newly-released government documents obtained by the Manitoba NDP show as of August the PC government had only spent $2.4 million of the announcement.
In a January 2021 press release, PC Health Minister Heather Stefanson committed to reducing the surgical backlog, claiming it was a “top priority” for the PC government.
In June 2021, Doctors Manitoba released a report showing the number of Manitobans waiting for tests and surgeries had reached 110,000 including 39,000 life-saving procedures. They called on the PC government to commit to eliminating the backlog by a fixed date, create a diagnostic and surgical recovery task force and publish monthly public reports on their progress. So far the PC government has taken none of these actions.
“Manitobans shouldn’t have to wait any longer for the PCs to make healthcare a priority,” said Uzoma Asagwara, NDP Critic for Healthcare. “Today we’re holding them accountable for their inaction – they need to show Manitobans they’re making progress.”