NDP, Tories clash over CancerCare
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/08/2022 (283 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The NDP has accused the Tory government of shortsightedness and disregard for cancer patients after Shared Health ordered $5.5 million worth of “immediate needs and stabilization” projects at CancerCare Manitoba.
“Instead of asking: how can we make health care better in Manitoba, time and time again we’re forced to ask what does the PC government have to do next to try and repair the mistakes they made by cutting an essential health care service in our province,” Kinew said.
He highlighted a recent request for proposals issued by the health authority that seeks construction management services for “immediate needs and stabilization projects” at CancerCare’s McDermot Avenue location.
The document says a needs assessment conducted in 2015 identified significant need for expanded services based on population growth and increased patient volumes.
However, new capital construction for CancerCare will not be considered until after 2025, the document stated, as part of the province’s clinical and preventative services plan and the HSC Campus Master Plan, both of which are under development.
The province will spend $5.5 million to maximize “the use of existing infrastructure and operations” with a focus on addressing deficiencies with current standards, accreditation requirements and patient flow.
Kinew said cancer patients would have been guaranteed an appropriate space and environment for cancer treatment had the Progressive Conservatives moved forward with a $300-million plan for a new facility.
The former NDP government approved construction of a new home for CancerCare Manitoba in 2016. However, the plan was scrapped under former Premier Brian Pallister one year later.
Health Minister Audrey Gordon didn’t consent to an interview.
Instead, a spokesperson for the government sent an emailed statement that said the former NDP government “made promises they couldn’t keep, including the CancerCare headquarter project.”
It said the PC party is “committed to righting the wrongs of the former government through the official and appropriate channels as a duty to all Manitobans.”
The spokesperson insisted the RFP will result in necessary upgrades to the CancerCare headquarters.
In a statement, CancerCare Manitoba director of communications Twylla Krueger said the organization is focused on the delivery of high-quality cancer services to Manitobans.
“This capital project will address the immediate needs of our patients and our clinical teams,” Krueger said, and involves expanded clinical spaces to support patient needs. Services that do not involve direct patient care will be relocated off site to increase capacity.
Renovations are expected to be complete by the summer or fall of 2024.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.