2018 Budget Update

Publish date: Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Politics & Government

Put Patients First

This week the Manitoba government released is 2018-19 budget. Unfortunately, the budget does not address the key challenges facing our health care system and ignores widespread concerns about ongoing cuts and changes that have put patient care at risk.

In particular, the budget pushes forward in the wrong direction by cutting funding for long-term care by $2,000,000. “This is simply unacceptable,” said MNU President Sandi Mowat. “At a time when demand for long-term care is at record levels, cutting funding will make it harder for nurses and health care workers to provide the quality care Manitobans deserve.”

The Progressive Conservative government has committed to building 1,200 new long-term care beds as part of its promise to reduce wait times. However, as of December 2017, no new long-term care beds have been created. MNU is calling on the government to honour its promise by reversing this funding cut and investing more in long-term care

Correspondingly, while acute care costs are soaring, the budget does not present any new investments in preventative health care measures. In fact, the budget comes on the heels of announcements of the exact opposite – they are cutting coverage through Manitoba’s Special Drug Program and charging sleep apnea patients $500 for equipment.

These cuts hurt our most vulnerable patients and will increase pressure on nurses and health care workers in the long-term. Instead of cutting services, the government needs to show a long-term commitment to keeping Manitobans healthy in their communities and out of emergency rooms.

In scope, despite an additional $333 million of equalization payments from the federal government, as well as an estimated $143 million in carbon tax revenue, the provincial government has not decided to confront many of the key challenges facing our health care system. In fact, when accounting for inflation and population growth, it is not clear whether there is any substantive increase in health care funding in Manitoba.

MNU will continue to monitor legislative and policy developments as the budget is debated during the spring session of the legislature and will report to members regularly.

 

 

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