CancerCare cuts bad for Concordia
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This article was published 02/10/2020 (973 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Every Manitoban deserves access to quality public healthcare, close to home. Whether that’s a family doctor, a hospital emergency room, or lifesaving cancer treatment, our healthcare system needs to be accessible for everyone who needs it.
Unfortunately, last month I learned of a major cut that will put accessible treatment in jeopardy for Manitobans battling cancer.
In September, the Pallister government revealed plans to cut CancerCare outpatient services at both the Concordia and Seven Oaks hospitals. That would mean hundreds of Manitobans living with cancer would be forced across the city to get the same treatment they can currently access in their neighbourhood. Just like when the government shuttered the Concordia emergency room last year, we’re once again fighting healthcare cuts and closures here in our community — and residents of northeast Winnipeg are paying the price.
While the government claims this cut is meant to improve care, its own documents prove otherwise. In a contract bid to high-priced private consultants, the government said that these changes are to simply lower costs and streamline CancerCare’s “fiscal performance.” This means saving a buck at the expense of patients’ well-being.
Fortunately, affected community members have not stayed silent. Many CancerCare nurses, worried how this could affect patient care, wrote a letter to Pallister’s Health Minister to stress that “closing down the site in the Concordia community … would most certainly increase the burden for people (they) are trying to help.”
They say that current sites are already at capacity, and sites such as Concordia can provide more personalized care.
It’s not just healthcare workers who are worried, either. I’ve heard firsthand from many members of our community who are living with cancer about the added stress that travelling across the city — on a daily basis, for many — would have on them and their family.
While Pallister tries to ram through more cuts to healthcare during a pandemic, your NDP official Opposition has fought back. My colleagues and I have had the pleasure of meeting with CancerCare staff at to hear some of their concerns, and we are working to stop this cut in its tracks. Putting healthcare at the top of the government’s radar is our number one priority.
If you would like to share your story of how cuts to CancerCare would affect you, or have any ideas to improve healthcare in Manitoba, reach out to my office anytime at 204-654-1857 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Concordia constituency report
Matt Wiebe is the NDP MLA for Concordia.