NDP promises to open eight new clinics

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A health care policy announcement in Transcona by the NDP Thursday raised a series of unanswered questions over a delay on a 2014 health care pledge.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/03/2016 (2339 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A health care policy announcement in Transcona by the NDP Thursday raised a series of unanswered questions over a delay on a 2014 health care pledge.

At a primary-care clinic in Transcona, New Democrat Leader Greg Selinger announced a re-elected NDP government would, within four years, double the number of QuickCare clinics to 16 from eight, as well as extend hours.

The clinics would cost $8 million to get started plus $4 million in capital expenditures.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Premier Greg Selinger meets with supporters and candidates before his NDP health policy announcement in front of the WRHA Access Transcona Thursday morning.

News of the announcement sparked a response from Progressive Conservative MLA Shannon Martin, who is running for re-election in Morris. He tweeted that the NDP failed to fulfil a promise made in 2014 to build 100 personal care home beds in Transcona. Construction was supposed to begin in 2015 and take about two years to complete, former health minister Erin Selby said at the time.

Shovels have yet to hit the ground in the project.

“It is moving ahead, that contract is moving ahead,” Selinger said when asked about the project. “It (the tender) has been awarded and now they are working towards getting it up and running.”

This map, provided by the NDP, shows the proposed new clinic locations.

Selinger was unable to say what caused the delays or when the construction was to begin, promising to get the information later.

“It’s a big commitment to the people of Transcona, one that I know will make a big difference out here,” Selinger said. “It was simply a question of getting them all rolled out and making sure we went through the proper tendering process.”

The Free Press reported in June of 2014 that a new 100-bed facility would be developed in partnership with Park Manor Personal Care Homes Inc. on its site at Kildare Avenue East and Redonda Street. In January of 2016, with no shovels in the ground, Health Minister Sharon Blady re-announced the project during the party’s pre-blackout blitz, stating tenders would be issued soon for it.

A request for information on the timeline of the project and cause for delay was given to the province’s cabinet communications department, who forwarded it to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. The WRHA responded with a statement at 5 p.m: “Design work is now complete and the tender package is in the final stages of preparation. The project is in the building code review stage and tendering is expected to take place this summer, with construction to follow,” read the statement sent by WRHA spokeswoman Anne Bennett.

She was unable to give information about why the project did not begin construction in 2015 or if there is a target date for construction to begin; the WRHA believes it will be this year.

Park Manor is a non-profit care centre sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its executive director, Colin Akre, declined to speak to the Free Press, stating the WRHA was to handle all media requests for the project.

kristin.annable@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Thursday, March 17, 2016 11:22 AM CDT: Adds quote from Selinger.

Updated on Thursday, March 17, 2016 12:00 PM CDT: Adds photo.

Updated on Thursday, March 17, 2016 7:14 PM CDT: Writethrough

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