WINNIPEG (TREATY 1, HOMELAND OF THE RED RIVER METIS) - Following last week’s announcement of the “Premier’s Economic Advisory Council on Competitiveness”, the Manitoba Health Coalition is calling on the Stefanson PC government to create a body which would consider a far more urgent issue facing Manitoba families: the “Premier’s Advisory Council on the Health Care Staffing Crisis”.

“One of the biggest issues facing Manitoba families, communities and even businesses is the chaos in Manitoba hospitals,” said Thomas Linner, Provincial Director of the Manitoba Health Coalition. “For the  Stefanson PC government to be touting tax cuts at this point instead of getting to grips with the health care staffing shortage is just a complete abdication of all responsibility.”

Linner suggested that the Advisory Council should be composed of representatives for front-line workers in the public health care system such as Emergency and ICU physicians, nurses, allied health care professionals and health care aides, and should consider pressing issues, such as:

  • Retaining current doctors, nurses and other health care professionals in the public health care system, as recently discussed by Dr. Kristjan Thompson on Twitter
  • Improving working conditions in Manitoba hospitals, clinics, Personal Care Homes and home-based services
  • Regulating the increased and unsustainable use of agency nurses 
  • Increasing surgical and diagnostic capacity within Manitoba’s public system to avoid cancellations, rather than signing secret contracts with private, out-of-province clinics
  • Assessing frontline staffing needs in the face of potential new strains and waves of COVID-19
  •  Increasing diversity within the public health care workforce, especially the recruitment and retention of Indigenous health care professionals
  •  Improving seniors care, including access to public home care

“The last thing Manitoba families need is more cuts, chaos and privatization,” said Linner. “Instead of focusing on further unfunded tax cuts during a health care crisis, Premier Stefanson and the PC government must invest, now, in the public health care system so that it is there for all Manitobans.”