Patients bear brunt of pandemic failures

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This article was published 02/03/2022 (214 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

 

Throughout the pandemic, many Manitobans have looked to infection and hospitalization rates as the main indicators of how we’re faring in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
But these statistics are only part of the story of how the virus and the Progressive Conservative government’s failure to support the health-care system has led to a failure to protect Transcona residents and Manitobans more broadly. There are countless stories of patients, including many who never contracted COVID-19, who have been subjected to unnecessary and painful healthcare experiences because of a lack of resources to care for them. These stories don’t make it onto the COVID-19 statistics dashboard, but they’re a central part of the history of this pandemic. 
I was recently reminded of how much suffering Manitobans are facing when I was contacted by the Apalit family. Their patriarch, Elias, was recovering from a head injury at Concordia Hospital, relatively close to his wife of 50 years, Florinda. Sadly, owing to a lack of space, his family was informed that he would be transferred hundreds of kilometres away to Minnedosa, where it would be extremely difficult for his family to visit regularly. His daughter Melissa told me that “as my dad was being loaded into the ambulance for transfer, he was confused, and was crying and his departing words to my mom were, ‘What did I do wrong? I want to go home, please help me. Why am I being punished?’” 
I know that many Transcona residents will be relieved that restrictions are beginning to lift and that it will be easier to gather together and socialize. But as the Omicron wave begins to decline, we need to remember our neighbours such as Elias, who are alone and hundreds of kilometres away from their families because this government failed to protect them. We need to make the necessary investments to rebuild our healthcare system so that a preventable situation like this never happens again. That’s why the Manitoba NDP and I are calling for an independent public inquiry into the province’s pandemic response, because we need to get a full picture of what went wrong before we can fix the problems at hand. 
Have you or your loved ones had necessarily painful experiences with the healthcare system recently? I want to hear about it. Contact my office at 204-594-2025 or email me at nello.altomare@yourmanitoba.ca 

 

Throughout the pandemic, many Manitobans have looked to infection and hospitalization rates as the main indicators of how we’re faring in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press Elias Apalit, depicted here in photos held by his daughter, Melissa Carter, was recently transferred from Concordia Hospital to a facility in Minnedosa, Man., for treatment for a head injury owing to a lack of space created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But these statistics are only part of the story of how the virus and the Progressive Conservative government’s failure to support the health-care system has led to a failure to protect Transcona residents and Manitobans more broadly. There are countless stories of patients, including many who never contracted COVID-19, who have been subjected to unnecessary and painful healthcare experiences because of a lack of resources to care for them. These stories don’t make it onto the COVID-19 statistics dashboard, but they’re a central part of the history of this pandemic. 

I was recently reminded of how much suffering Manitobans are facing when I was contacted by the Apalit family. Their patriarch, Elias, was recovering from a head injury at Concordia Hospital, relatively close to his wife of 50 years, Florinda. Sadly, owing to a lack of space, his family was informed that he would be transferred hundreds of kilometres away to Minnedosa, where it would be extremely difficult for his family to visit regularly. His daughter Melissa told me that “as my dad was being loaded into the ambulance for transfer, he was confused, and was crying and his departing words to my mom were, ‘What did I do wrong? I want to go home, please help me. Why am I being punished?’” 

I know that many Transcona residents will be relieved that restrictions are beginning to lift and that it will be easier to gather together and socialize. But as the Omicron wave begins to decline, we need to remember our neighbours such as Elias, who are alone and hundreds of kilometres away from their families because this government failed to protect them. We need to make the necessary investments to rebuild our healthcare system so that a preventable situation like this never happens again. That’s why the Manitoba NDP and I are calling for an independent public inquiry into the province’s pandemic response, because we need to get a full picture of what went wrong before we can fix the problems at hand. 

Have you or your loved ones had necessarily painful experiences with the healthcare system recently? I want to hear about it. Contact my office at 204-594-2025 or email me at nello.altomare@yourmanitoba.ca 

Nello Altomare

Nello Altomare
Transcona constituency report

Nello Altomare is the NDP MLA for Transcona.

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