NDP calls on Pallister government to come clean on health cuts

Today, the NDP is calling on the Pallister government to be transparent and honest about cuts it’s making to health-care services across the province, Health Critic Matt Wiebe said.

“The Pallister government has ordered regional health authorities to make deep cuts but has refused to tell families what those cuts will be,” Wiebe said. “We call on the premier to be honest and tell families exactly what services will be cut and who will be affected.”

According to published reports, the Pallister government has ordered all regional health authorities to cut their costs, despite increasing need for services and a growing population, Wiebe noted.

“The need for health care is growing and the Pallister government is asking the impossible of the doctors, nurses and hospitals that serve families,” Wiebe said. “The only way to immediately cut costs is to lay off doctors and nurses, close health-care centres and reduce services. The premier has to stop pretending otherwise.”

The Pallister government has already cancelled $1 billion in planned construction of hospitals, community health-care clinics and personal-care homes, Wiebe pointed out. It has also closed one QuickCare Clinic in Winnipeg. This was done while the government continues to refuse to reveal a report on health care by KPMG.

“Published reports indicate that the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has been told to cut more than $80 million and that the Northern Health Authority would have to cut $6 million. That would force health authorities in the North to cut staff, reduce mental-health and preventive-health services and would make it harder for patients who need assistance to travel for care” Wiebe said. “This out-of-touch premier has set an unrealistic target and must tell families the truth – what services will be cut and how will patients be affected?”