Despite promises to maintain frontline services, the Pallister government has managed to make healthcare accessible to fewer and fewer Manitobans. From closures to emergency rooms and urgent care clinics in low income neighbourhoods, to the elimination of in-hospital physiotherapy and occupational therapy and the closure of the Victoria Hospital Mature Women’s Centre, it’s near impossible to imagine where the value is in the Pallister governments health care plan.
While it’s a challenge to keep track of the relentless attack,Value Manitoba will attempt to do just that. The following is a list of changes and cuts we’ve identified to date; we’re not offering any deeper analysis here although we do provide links to various media articles, opinion pieces to provide context. No doubt as time marches on, there will be much more to say about how these cuts are affecting Manitobans, and we will endeavour to weigh in as we learn more.
We will update the list as more changes/cuts are announced. Here is what we have so far.
- Manitoba considering private MRIs
- The Health Minister advises Manitoba Metis Federation President that $650,000 used by the Federation to employ 5 health staffers will be cut
- The Health Minister opens the door for private MRI’s
- Manitoba releases report The Future of Home Care Services in Manitoba
- The Health Minister announces that the St. Boniface QuickCare Clinic on St. Mary’s Road will close.
- Manitoba Home Care Program name change raises concerns about privatization
- Pallister cancels over (what they claim) is $1 billion in health care infrastructure projects.
- Cancelled projects include:
- A new facility for CancerCare Manitoba ($300M);
- A personal care home in Lac Du Bonnet (est. $32M) and a complete turn around on his campaign promise to provide 1200 new personal care beds for Manitoba’s aging population;
- St. Vital primary care ACCESS clinic ($4.7M);
- The Pas primary care clinic ($3.5M);
- A new facility for Pan Am Clinic;
- Concordia Wellness Centre; and
- An international centre for dignity and palliative care.
- Health Minister announces budget cuts for Regional Health Authorities in 2017/18.
- The WRHA’s budget is cut by $83 million (5%). Job cuts and privatization on the table;
- The NRHA’s budget is cut by $6 million;
- Prairie Mountain Health’s budget is cut by $17.5 million (3%);
- Southern Health-Sante Sud’s budget is cut by $11 million;
- Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority is cut by $8 milliom:
- Provincial Government issues orders to Regional Health Authorities and Health Agencies to cut 15% (90 jobs) of management positions in 2017/18.
- WRHA Hospital Home Team program is cut.
- MRI for Dauphin on hold
- The Health Minister announces with the WRHA that the emergency rooms at Concordia Hospital, Victoria General Hospital and Seven Oaks Hospital as well as the Urgent Care Centre at the Misericordia will close.
- Manitoba government cancels program to bring more doctors to rural Manitoba, making it more difficult to attract and retain physicians in rural communities. Minister says government will save $4.2 million annually, but will be the cost for those seeking medical care?
- The Provincial Government cancels a subsidy that offers affordable airfare to the escorts of northern Manitoban patients who fly to Winnipeg for medical appointments. It estimates $1 million annual savings – but at what cost?
- Provincial Government outsources private home care companies to provide services as part of their “Healing our Health Care System” plan. Pallister says he is “about results” and privatization is on the table. (This has been tried before. The Filmon government abandoned privatization plans in the 1990s when they failed to show results.
- The Provincial Government cuts $4.8 million from chiropractic care. This budget cut will result in five fewer covered visits for chiropractic patients per year and the amount of coverage per visit will be reduced by $4.00.
- 197 healthcare jobs are cut to comply with management reductions.
- The WRHA cut 132 positions, Prairie Mountain Health cut 24, Southern Health-Sante Sud cut 19, Interlake-Eastern cut 19, NRHA cut seven, CancerCare cut 7, Diagnostic Services Manitoba cut 7, and Addictions Foundation of Manitoba cut 1.
- The Provincial Government cuts Pharmacare coverage for blood glucose test strips for Manitobans with Type I Diabetes.
- The Provincial Government announces that 23 rural EMS stations will close.
- The WRHA announces that Misericordia Urgent Care Centre will be closed overnight starting July 5th 2017 despite officials saying previously that it would not be shut down until October 2017.
- The WRHA announces that four out of the five remaining QuickCare Clinics in Winnipeg will close by the end of January 2018.
- The Mature Women’s Centre at Victoria General Hospital will also close by October 2017.
- Adult physiotherapy and occupational therapy in hospital is eliminated.
- The Corydon Primary Care Clinic will close.
- Some fees for long-term care patients are increased.
- The WRHA cuts the position of Regional Director for occupational therapy.
- The WRHA cuts two lactation consultant positions at the Women’s Hospital.
- Capped dispensing fees for pharmacare and a limit placed on claims for compound drugs
- The WRHA cuts two recreation therapist positions at HSC.
- The WRHA cuts two audiologists at HSC.
- The WRHA cuts two clinical nurse specialists from HSC’s burn and trauma units
- The WRHA cuts fifteen nurses from HSC who monitor and perform intravenous insertions.
- Rural EMS stations closing
- Position deletion letters to be sent to 500 nurses. Will they be moved to “new jobs” as promised? And what will those jobs look like?
- costly drug dispensing fees introduced effecting palliative patients wanting to die at home.
- squeeze on healthcare puts basic items like blankets, washcloths and adult diapers under scrutiny
- Premier Pallister considers health care premium
- Health Sciences Centre restructures – eliminates healthcare aides and support staff positions
- Selkirk ER scales back on doctor hours as a result of Provincial funding squeeze
- Misericordia Hospital closes
- Brian Pallister promises no health care premium in “current term”
- WRHA planning cuts exceeding $91 million annually to meet Pallister government directive
- 15 Nursing jobs to eliminated at Deer Lodge Centre
- 40 nurses laid off from Victoria Hospital
- “labour adjustment strategy” leaves 100 empty clerk and HCA jobs unfilled
- Patients effected by cuts to HSC IV team
- WRHA lowers estimates for fewer personal care beds needed. Offers no plan on how it will achieve targets.
- Patients will pay more after April 1 change to Special Drugs Program
- Plan to privatize air ambulance proceeds