Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/4/2017 (911 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The provincial budget presented last week continued the Progressive Conservative government’s cuts to health services in northeast Winnipeg.
After announcing they will close the Concordia Hospital emergency room, the PCs did not include the expansion of Park Manor Personal Care Home in the budget.
Those are not the only cuts to northeast Winnipeg health services the PCs have made during their short time in government. Since being elected, the PCs have: cancelled the Concordia Hospital Home Team, denied funding for the Concordia Wellness Centre, closed the closest QuickCare Clinic to northeast Winnipeg and chose not to proceed with QuickCare Clinics in Transcona and East Kildonan promised by the previous government.
It adds insult to injury to be told that the Concordia ER beds will be converted to provide more transitional care for patients waiting to get into a personal care home. If we need more personal care home beds, the government should go ahead with the Park Manor project before closing emergency rooms.
The proposed 120-bed personal care home (PCH) would help address a longstanding shortage of PCH beds in northeast Winnipeg and give families the option of having their loved ones in PCH close to home, without closing the ER. In February, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that Pallister’s costing of PCH beds has already caused Lac du Bonnet to lose its $32-million, 80-bed care home project.
After a comprehensive planning process to ensure the care home would meet provincial design standards, the cost per bed was $360,000. Pallister, however, insists new beds should only cost $133,000. While we all would like to get more for less, Pallister’s numbers are not backed up by any evidence.
The Park Manor project has been a long time in the making. It has been diligently planned. There is no reason to believe its budget is any more than what is required. If Park Manor has to make up almost two-thirds of its funding because of the government’s cuts, it may well kill the project just as construction is ready to start.
It would mean having to raise tens of millions of dollars in Transcona and the surrounding area to keep the project alive.
Other parts of Winnipeg that are seeing their ER close will at least have access to urgent care. They are not being asked pretend that closing the local ER is a substitute for expanding the local personal care home.
The provincial government has the responsibility of making decisions about important matters like how to provide care and shelter to Manitoba seniors who can no longer remain in their family homes and what services will be available close by when a crisis hits. They are failing brutally in that regard when it comes to northeast Winnipeg.
Elmwood-Transcona constituency report.
Daniel Blaikie is the NDP MP for Elmwood-Transcona.