Treatment of survivors is simply inexcusable


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The Progressive Conservatives’ health-care cuts are having a damaging effect on Manitobans, which was recently highlighted by the issues with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) program at the Health Sciences Centre.

SANE is responsible for the critical work of providing sexual assault survivors with timely treatment and care and collecting evidence so that offenders can be held accountable. Unfortunately, the program is not functioning as intended. Survivors are being sent home due to a lack of staff, being told not to wash themselves until they can return and be assessed when someone is available. This is inexcusable and should never happen. The PCs should follow through on their promise and properly fund the SANE program so survivors can get the supports they need and so justice can be served. PC cuts have also resulted in this program not being expanded to northern communities, where survivors must instead travel to Winnipeg.

We know the SANE program is not the only part of our health-care system that has been negatively affected by the PCs cuts and disorganization. Health-care workers across the board are feeling the effects of burnout. Burnout must be addressed as a structural issue of understaffing and relying on the work of few to do the work of many. One of the many contributing factors to the ongoing crisis in healthcare is that without proper funding all workers in the healthcare system are being forced to take on longer shifts with more responsibilities, causing many overworked staff to quit and sometimes leave the profession entirely.

In order to properly address the issues in Manitoba’s health-care system, we must solve the root problems rather than simply treating the symptoms of this broken system. If the PCs’ approach has made anything clear, it’s that cuts and privatization don’t address the root problems. Instead, we need proper funding of our public health system that helps us retain and recruit staff such as health-care aides, nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, home-care workers and more. We need to build a healthcare system that puts patients and their wellbeing at the centre – not the profits of private companies.

If we don’t treat the issues facing our health-care system as a crisis, then people will continue to fall through the cracks, including survivors who should always have access to expert healthcare and justice in their time of need.

Please feel free to reach out or connect by calling 204-306-8581, emailing, or visiting my office at Unit 1, 331 Smith St

Uzoma Asagwara

Uzoma Asagwara
Union Station constituency report

Uzoma Asagwara is the NDP MLA for Union Station.

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