WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Health Coalition (MHC) called on the provincial government today to immediately establish a public inquiry into the provincial response to COVID-19, so that the process can be concluded and a report delivered in the 2022 calendar year.
There is clear evidence that the Manitoba public has lost confidence in the government’s approach. On top of the recent Angus Reid poll- which gave Premier Stefanson the lowest rating amongst provincial premiers for her performance in regards to the ongoing pandemic - doctors, nurses and allied health care professionals have all expressed serious concerns recently with the province’s lack of action to contain the Omicron variant currently overwhelming hospitals.
“The government must act quickly to restore public confidence in the fight against COVID-19,” said Thomas Linner, Provincial Director of the Manitoba Health Coalition. “Acting now to establish an independent public inquiry is a crucial first step to assuring Manitobans that there will be a proper review of the government’s conduct. It’s vital that people know the concerns expressed by families and health care providers will not be swept aside.”
MHC also called on the provincial government to take further confidence building steps to improve the province’s pandemic response, including:
- Immediately moving the province from Code Orange to Code Red on the pandemic preparedness scale
- Publicly releasing all public health advice received by the Premier and Minister of Health since the arrival of the Omicron variant in Manitoba
- Immediately supporting front-line health care workers with intensive recruitment and training for hospitals and Personal Care Homes(PCHs)
- Releasing the 2022 Health Budget early to allow health regions and facilities to plan effectively for the potential of future waves of COVID-19
- Taking responsibility for the cuts to ICU capacity and staffingand Personal Care Homes(PCHs) that hampered the health system’s ability to respond to COVID-19
- Ending for-profit long-term care in Manitoba in recognition of the deadly results in Winnipeg’s for-profit PCHs
- Establishing a Seniors’ Advocate in Manitoba
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