Brian Pallister puts Manitoba’s public health care on the table for privatization

Brian Pallister finally revealed that privatizing Manitoba’s public health care is also on the table in his plan to cut half a billion dollars from the public services families rely on, NDP Leader Greg Selinger said today.

“Privatizing health care means that the quality of your care will come down to how much money you have, not how sick you are,” said Selinger. “That is fundamentally wrong. Our public health care is not for sale.”

During yesterday’s debate—one of the few he has attended—Brian Pallister was asked directly whether he would privatize health care.
Pallister confirmed he is prepared to look at privatization to fill the holes he will leave in health care from his cuts.

When pressed again by the media about privatizing health care, he said: “I don’t want to rule out suggestions” and “we have to keep an open mind to looking at options.”

“With this admission, he’s confirmed he is actually considering privatization,” said Selinger. “He could have said ‘no’ to privatization and instead very deliberately refused to do so. The question is what services will be first on the chopping block.”

The NDP has a plan to invest in a new emergency departments like the one at the Grace Hospital, new QuickCare clinics in St. Norbert, Transcona and in the northeast and a new CancerCare Manitoba building for patients and families. The NDP will also recruit more nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwives on top of more doctors and nurses.

Brian Pallister and his Conservatives have only promised to bring in highly-paid corporate consultants to review health spending—just like Filmon did in the 1990s with Connie Curran. This move directly led to firing 1,000 nurses, closing community hospitals and gutting public health care.

“Brian Pallister needs to tell Manitobans now which part of the health care system is first up for privatization and cuts. Is it home care? Is it community hospitals?” Selinger said. “The NDP is on the side of families. We know our public health care system needs to work for everyone, not just the wealthiest Manitobans, like Brian Pallister, who can cut their way to the front of the line.”