Manitobans, especially Winnipeggers, now have a much clearer picture of how the Manitoba Government plans to move forward with public health care. Today, drastic cuts to public health care services in Winnipeg were announced. 

“During the election, the Premier promised Manitobans he would protect and invest in public services and the people who deliver them,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “Instead of living up to his commitment to protect and invest in public services, he’s spending thousands of dollars on high-paid consultants, rather than listening to the people who work on the frontlines.”

Today’s announcement will mean there will soon only be three ERs servicing the city of Winnipeg due to the closure of the Victoria, Seven Oaks and Concordia Hospital ERs.

“There are many questions to be answered. What does this mean for MGEU members working in our hospitals? How does this impact Winnipeg paramedics and the service they provide? It’s hard to think of how closing ERs will protect and support these services,” said Gawronsky. “When my hometown ER was closed 5 years ago in Vita, it hit our community hard. What is this going to mean for the people of Winnipeg?” 

Gawronsky added that the public health care system is one with many different parts that work together to provide patient care. When you cut important pieces out of that system, it impacts everything, from health care aides working in personal care homes and hospitals to the added stress it puts on home care.

Today’s shake up of public health care also included mention of Manitoba’s Home Care Program. 

“We’re being told an enhanced home care model will be introduced, but we’ve been given no details. The only way you enhance home care is by hiring more frontline workers and giving them the time they need to care for their clients,” said Gawronsky. “I’m hopeful that whatever changes are coming to this program that it remains a universal, publically accessible service free of user fees.”  

The MGEU represents over 16,000 members working in the health care sector. This includes people who work in personal care homes, hospitals, home care, paramedics and others who work in labs and perform diagnostic tests.