NDP accuses Manitoba government of health-care privatization plan again after premier talks up partnerships

The Manitoba NDP continues its oft-repeated accusation that more health services are being privatized – and this time the party is using the PM’s words against them.

The NDP highlighted part of Prime Minister Heather Stefanson’s June speech to party supporters, in which she said her progressive Conservative government was “building for the future” by finding “innovative ways to increase capacity in our system with partnerships in the private and not -private area considered”. for-profit sectors.”

After referring to the partnerships, Stefanson said her government will “do whatever is necessary to provide Manitobans with the care they need, when they need it.”

The PC Party posted their speech online.

NDP leader Wab Kinew says Stefanson’s comments show the Tories are pushing ahead with their plans to privatize healthcare while the public system is struggling under the burden of severe staff shortages and long waits.

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“Because we know what we know about the PCs, we know what we know about the people who have the PM’s ear, we know they want to improve access to private health care in Manitoba and continue to push the boundaries of private health care.” will test and what they can get away with,” he said Tuesday at a news conference near the Health Sciences Center in Winnipeg.

The opposition leader cited the province’s decision to send 150 to 300 spinal surgery patients to Fargo, ND, as an example of private health care’s intrusion into the public system.

The PC government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

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In the past, the government has defended itself against privatization allegations by insisting on a commitment to the public system, but help is needed while severe staff shortages and long waits for care persist.

However, Kinev claimed the Tories are pursuing private options before first strengthening the public health system.

With provincial elections coming up next year, Kinev said an NDP government will spend more money on health care and promote a better vision for improving the system. He said they would also work with nurses and their representatives to stop addiction to mandatory overtime.

Kinev also suggested that an NDP government could improve the relationship between the province and health workers.

“It could send a message that there’s a new tenor, a more respectful approach to those who work on the front lines,” Kinev said.

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While he expressed hesitation about Fargo’s surgical partnership, Kinew would not rule out any private partnerships, such as the procedures performed with the Western Surgery Center in Winnipeg. Kinew said he will comply with the Canada Health Act, which ensures Canadians have access to quality health care without financial or other barriers.

In 2020, the federal secretary of health warned that if the province doesn’t prevent people from paying out-of-pocket for faster access to diagnostic services and private nurses from billing patients for services, Ottawa may be keeping money reserved for Manitoba bodies that would do so would typically be covered by the provincial health plan.

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