(WINNIPEG, MB, TREATY 1, HOMELAND OF THE RED RIVER METIS) - In response to the government’s announcement today, MHC Provincial Director Thomas Linner stated the following:

“The healthcare staffing crisis in Manitoba is beyond critical. It is important that the provincial government has listened to the Manitoba Nurses Union, who have been advocating for these measures for some time. Minister Gordon has stated that we will see similar initiatives for other front-line workers as well.

While many of the measures announced today will help in efforts to alleviate the exit of nurses from the public system, the government has not proposed any efforts to limit the scope or regulate the behaviour of private nursing agencies and healthcare staffing companies. These entities have a business models which relies on poaching healthcare professionals from the public system.

MHC is also concerned that the province’s Health Human Resources Action Plan appears to have no publicly available metrics by which to gauge its success or its failure. Just over 60% of the advertised $200 million program spending was announced today, but we are no closer to understanding several features of the plan, including:

  • Under what time-frame are the $200 million spend and the addition of 2,000 healthcare professionals to be accomplished?
  • What specific targets are in place for the various professions included under this plan, including types of physicians, nurses, allied healthcare professionals, etc?
  • From what baseline are the 2,000 additional healthcare professionals to be added (including the 338 referred to in today's announcement)?

Manitoba health care is at a crossroads. There is much work remaining to stabilize and enhance public health care from the cuts and privatization that have led to this moment. Manitobans must continue to fight for public health care in the months and years to come.”