Government fails again on health care


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/10/2021 (595 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It has been well-documented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that the Progressive Conservative government has handled the health-care system poorly.

Make no mistake, this began with austerity and thoughtless cuts going back to 2016 when now-former Premier Pallister was first elected. These shortsighted measures played a massive role in creating the chaos that still exists today as we encounter a fourth wave of novel coronavirus infections.

We continue to see the ramification of these decisions, including late last month with the departure of Dr. Demitre Serletis, a brain surgeon.

Winnipeg Free Press photo archives Dr. Demitre Serletis, a neurosurgeon at Health Sciences Centre, has opted to leave Manitoba.

Dr. Serletis was originally hired five years ago to establish an important and innovative epilepsy program. His departure now adds to the list of other health-care gaps which includes sending patients  requiring intensive care out of province, nursing shortages and thousands of postponed surgeries and other procedures. 

Thirty thousand Manitobans live with epilepsy, and many can’t receive  surgery they need here at home. This results in years of suffering from uncontrolled seizures, headaches, and depression. As a result of lack of support and funding, Dr. Serletis will be reluctantly leaving our community, despite admitting the decision was hard to make and acknowledging the potential for this program to flourish.

Last March, the NDP caucus presented a petition in the legislature urging the government and the minister of health and seniors care to open a four-bed epilepsy unit at the Health Sciences Centre with modern equipment and adequate epilepsy neurosurgeons. The departure of Dr. Serletis has made achieving this goal incredibly difficult.

Creating a dedicated epilepsy unit, as well as committing to funding the requirements for life-altering surgeries, would have an incredibly profound and positive impact on patients who would not have to travel out of province.

Manitoba is one of the only provinces unequipped to perform these types of surgeries. The NDP caucus will continue to fight for what is right and advocate for these critical investments to take place so we can improve the lives of Manitobans.

Has your family been impacted by epilepsy and you cannot receive the care you need here at home?

You can reach me by emailing or by phoning 204-421-4241.

Mark Wasyliw

Mark Wasyliw
Fort Garry constituency report

Mark Wasyliw is the NDP MLA for Fort Garry.

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