Standing up for better health care


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/09/2021 (616 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

We all know that for over the past five years, the Progressive Conservative government has waged a full-fledged attack on nurses and allied healthcare professionals.

On Sept. 17, nurses across Manitoba participated in the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions nationwide action and demanded that the PC government commit to treating nurses with respect, and provide safe working environments and fairness.

I was proud to join the Manitoba Nurses Union and Manitoba Federation of Labour in solidarity with Manitoba nurses on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature in Union Station to say that our NDP team will continue to fight for better health care for all Manitobans and for all health-care professionals to be treated with utmost respect and integrity.

The PC government has closed emergency rooms, cut ICU capacity, fired hundreds of nurses, unconstitutionally froze nurses’ wages and has treated nurses and healthcare workers with nothing short of disrespect.

The result? A health-care staffing crisis that was compounded by the pandemic and one in which not a single one of the three PC health minister appointed during the pandemic have taken any meaningful steps to address.

In fact, despite nurses sounding the alarm, leaving their careers, walking off the job, writing letters to the minister pleading for assistance and taking the desperate steps of speaking to media in the hopes of their voices being heard, not one of the three ministers has even acknowledged the staffing shortage as a crisis.

Most recently, Audrey Gordon, the current health minister, has made no announcements to address the staffing crisis immediately. There is no plan without a plan to repair the damage done to the relationship with nurses and health-care workers and to recruit and retain staff. I hear from Union Station constituents who work in health care that unless change is immediate, they don’t see themselves working long-term in the sector.

Nurses are long overdue for respect, safe workplaces and fair treatment from this government. The Minister of Health must acknowledge the health-care staffing crisis faced by healthcare workers during this pandemic and must immediately address it.

The PC’s agenda of cuts is hurting the health of seniors, children, and families, and is and hurting our health-care heroes. We can and should have better in Manitoba.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns at 204-306-8581

Uzoma Asagwara

Uzoma Asagwara
Union Station constituency report

Uzoma Asagwara is the NDP MLA for Union Station.

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