WINNIPEG (TREATY 1) - Yesterday (Wednesday, June 24, 2022) the government of Manitoba announced plans to send even more Manitoba patients out-of-province - and out-of-country - to receive surgeries at private clinics.
The government’s announcement comes on the heels of its failure to open a promised fifth operating room at Concordia Hospital in a timely manner. It doubles down on international procedures already panned by the Canadian Spine Society earlier this year over concerns for patient safety and Manitoba’s surgical capacity.
“This short-term, expensive and unreliable plan has nothing to do with shortening waitlists and nothing to do with expanding surgical capacity here in Manitoba,” said Thomas Linner, Provincial Director of the Manitoba Health Coalition. “Manitobans have been clear that they want our public health care dollars to increase capacity here in Manitoba, rather than to facilitate private profits for surgical centers in Ontario, North Dakota and Ohio.”
When polled by Probe Research (on behalf of MHC) earlier this year on how best to address the surgical and diagnostic backlog, Manitobans overwhelming chose hiring and investing in the public system (68%) over paying private health care providers - including some based in the U.S. - to deliver these services (24%).
“Health care workers, experts and advocates have repeatedly offered public solutions to surgical wait times, but have been ignored by a government more concerned with facilitating private profits than strengthening our public health care," said Linner.
MHC is calling on the Stefanson PC government to provide:
Firm timelines to end the backlogs so that families know how long they and/or their loved ones will be waiting for surgical and diagnostic procedures
Immediate support for front-line health care workers
Investment in the public system and an end to the cuts and privatization that created this problem in the first place
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