Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB-- As Manitoba faces a health crisis created by cuts and Canada’s Premiers gather in Winnipeg, Heather Stefanson’s PC Government has acknowledged it supports private for-profit health care companies that violate the Canada Health Act.
“No one should have to pay for health care – but that’s what’s happening in Manitoba under Heather Stefanson’s PCs,” said Wab Kinew, leader of the Manitoba NDP. “For seven years Heather Stefanson’s PCs have undermined public health care and have now admitted they put the interests of for-profit companies ahead of regular patients and families,” said Kinew.
The Manitoba PC Government was fined in March of 2023 by the Federal Government for allowing private, for profit-clinics to charge patients directly for medically necessary tests like MRIs, CT scans and other tests. The PC government was warned by the Federal Government in 2020 to comply with the Canada Health Act and stop allowing private diagnostic companies to charge for medically necessary health care.
In response to FIPPA requests, Heather Stefanson’s PCs refused to reveal the name of this for-profit health care company that charged Manitobans over $350,000 for medically necessary health care as it could harm the company’s “competitive position”. In addition, the PCs want to shield this company from being associated with “punitive measures being taken by the Federal Government against the province for non-compliance with Federal legislation”.
“As Canada’s Premiers meet to ask for more health funding, new information shows Heather Stefanson’s PC government has been ignoring the Canada Health Act guarantee of public health care for all, and put federal health transfers at risk by privatizing medicine in Manitoba. Stefanson’s PCs are choosing to put for-profit health care companies that charge Manitobans money for tests ahead of patients”, said Uzoma Asagwara, NDP Health Critic. “It’s wrong – we should never defend for-profit companies that violate the Canada Health Act. It’s disappointing but not surprising that Stefanson’s PCs don’t agree”, said Asagwara.
View the FIPPA response here.