WINNIPEG (TREATY 1) - In response to Budget 2022 Manitoba Health Coalition (MHC) Provincial Director Thomas Linner said the following:

Premier Heather Stefanson began her tenure with a promise to listen to Manitobans. Her government has had every opportunity to reflect on the disastrous Pallister-era cuts and privatization efforts that two-thirds of Manitobans say hurt the healthcare system’s capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s why it’s so disappointing that Premier Stefanson and the Manitoba PC government continue to put private profit over public health care with Budget 2022. The Stefanson government has failed to learn the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and is abandoning Manitobans when we need public healthcare the most.

Despite the fact that two-thirds of Manitobans also want to see public investment right here in Manitoba over private and out-of-province contracts to address the surgical and diagnostic backlog, the Stefanson government is going ahead with a process that won’t add capacity to Manitoba’s public system, won’t tackle waitlists and won’t save money.

Budget 2022 also fails to provide on key public healthcare priorities, such as:

  • An independent public inquiry into the government’s handling of COVID-19
  • The removal of for-profit operators from our long term care system - both residential and home-based
  • A Seniors Advocate in Manitoba to ensure older adults have the necessary resources and support to age with dignity and respect, as is done in British Columbia
  • Funding for the establishment and staffing of a supervised injection site in Winnipeg and other centres as appropriate to address the deadly toll of overdose deaths on our streets

Most crucially, Budget 2022 fails to provide a comprehensive Healthcare Human Resources Strategy to address ongoing staffing shortages in our hospitals, home care and personal care homes. The frontlines have sacrificed enough these last two years. 

Our healthcare workers, patients and families who have sacrificed so much deserve better.”

Further analysis of Budget 2022 will be forthcoming from the Manitoba Health Coalition.