Premier Let Public Health Care Collapse, Commits to Privatization

September 20, 2022  

Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB— With sky-rocketing wait times and patients lining crowded hallways in Winnipeg hospitals, the NDP have released a video of Premier Stefanson committing to private health care. The Premier’s statement comes from the same address to a room full of PC donors where she denies her party cut health care, a video that caused an uproar on social media last week.  

“The stories from the frontlines of Winnipeg hospitals right now are disturbing,” said NDP Health Care Critic, Uzoma Asagwara. “After years of PC cuts, we have reached a point where Manitobans no longer trust they will get the care they need when they show up at a hospital. It’s no secret how we got here, but instead of committing to fix the mess they’ve made the PCs are forging ahead with plans to privatize health care while letting our public health care system collapse – that is not the answer.” 

In her speech to PC donors from June 2022, Premier Stefanson claims that her government is “building for the future” by looking at “innovative ways to increase capacity with private and not-for-profit partners.” The PC government is currently partnering with a private, American hospital for spinal surgery but refuses to make the cost available to the public. A Probe Research Poll conducted in March 2022, shows the vast majority of Manitobans do not support private health care.  

In the last ten days stories of the dire situation in Winnipeg hospitals have increased and media have reported that the crisis is at its worst at Health Sciences Centre where trauma victims and seniors had to wait hours to receive treatment last weekend. Doctors are speaking out about the crisis, calling it “unprecedented,” and demanding immediate action. Meanwhile Shared Health blamed the situation on patients.  

“It’s time to end hallway medicine in Manitoba,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “And we need to do that by investing in our public system not undermining it. Profit has no place in our hospitals and health care centres, and private corporations have no business at the bedside. There used to be a deal in our province that Manitobans who worked hard and contributed to our province could count on a government to provide quality, public health care but the PCs broke that deal. Now only the Manitoba NDP can restore it.”