Stop assault on northeast Winnipeg health care
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/11/2020 (921 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
On Dec. 4, the CancerCare Manitoba oncology clinic at Concordia Hospital will shut its doors permanently, making it impossible for cancer patients living in northeast Winnipeg and the surrounding area to get care close to home.
The elected members of the provincial government say that this is about improving patient care, but the facts tell a different story.
Nurses employed by CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB) wrote a letter to Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen stating that these cuts are “contrary to what CCMB’s goals of patient care are and would most certainly increase the burden for the people [they] are trying to help”.
It does not seem to have changed his mind. Perhaps that comes as no surprise.
This is the same health minister who recently decided to ignore the advice of 200 doctors who dared to question the provincial government’s COVID-19 response, choosing instead to accuse them of having ulterior motives.
The concern of CancerCare nurses is not the only sign. The government’s own bid for high-priced private consultants in 2019 puts a heavy emphasis on fiscal performance and oversight, rather than on patient care.
One of the first acts of the provincial government in 2016 was to cancel the shovel-ready expansion of Park Manor, wasting years of work and investment. As we fight a pandemic that has been particularly lethal in long-term care facilities, Park Manor remains one of the few LTC facilities with four-bed rooms.
Not long after that, our community had to fight tooth and nail to keep 24/7 access to healthcare when the same government announced its intention to close the Concordia Hospital emergency room.
It is one thing for a government to make mistakes, it is something else when they refuse to learn from them. People in northeast Winnipeg should not have to constantly fight to keep the health services they deserve.
It is possible to maintain these services in our community, but it takes a government committed to public services.
I have had it with this government’s unrelenting assault on healthcare in our community and I am not alone.
If you feel the same way, I encourage you to check out Protect Health Care in Northeast Winnipeg on Facebook and sign their petition at change.org
Elmwood-Transcona constituency report
Daniel Blaikie is the NDP MP for Elmwood-Transcona.