Seniors bear brunt of failures in care
If you have a family member in long-term care, or receiving home-care services, or on a wait list for surgery, or who needed emergency care, you will have experienced the terrible decline in our health-care system first-hand. Seniors continue to bear the brunt of these failures, the lion’s share of which are the Progressive Conservative government’s direct responsibility.
Back in 2016, this PC government promised to build 1,200 new personal care home beds. Yet by the summer of 2022, there were 193 fewer beds in Manitoba than when they took office. They raised fees for seniors living in personal care homes by up to $1,600 a year. They also privatized outpatient physiotherapy for seniors.
The gutting of our health-care system has resulted in emergency rooms today having 10 per cent fewer people attending than in 2017, but with sharply increased wait times. The PCs disastrous approach has resulted in a home-care system Manitobans can no longer depend on, in which people are being forced to instead pay for private home care or, tragically, go to the media and plead for legislators to honour and respect home-care workers.
The PCs also failed to fill nursing position vacancy rates. During the COVID-19 pandemic the vulnerability of personal care homes across North America was apparent to anyone who followed the news. Yet, months later, when the expected second wave of the virus hit, the government’s ‘ostrich burying its head in the sand’ approach of not taking reasonable and obvious protective steps failed terribly. It was “unavoidable,” said the minister when he pulled his head out of the sand. The PCs oversaw the highest deaths-per-capita in the country in long-term care and retirement homes.
Seniors continue to pay the price with the PC consolidation of Dynacare sites, closure of CancerCare Clinics in Seven Oaks and Concordia, and the mature women’s clinic. Privatizing outpatient physiotherapy and occupational therapy services has also resulted in thousands of patients, mostly seniors with hip and knee replacements, to pay out-of-pocket for services. Manitobans deserve better.
If you have any comments about your own experiences, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My office number is 204-415-1122.
Elmwood constituency report
Jim Maloway is the NDP MLA for Elmwood.