MNU Responds to Budget 2020

Publish date: Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVID-19

Health care

MNU President

Politics & Government

The Pallister government’s 2020 budget fails to address both urgent and long-term challenges facing our health care system, and risks exacerbating existing capacity and resource issues that are already impacting patient care, MNU President Darlene Jackson said today.

"The Pallister government's budget falls well short of what is needed in ordinary circumstances, and now the COVID-19 pandemic will place additional pressure on a system that is already stretched thin," said Jackson. "In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, significant investment is needed right now to support our immediate efforts, as well as to address long-term capacity issues that have been made worse by consolidation and cuts."

Despite a worsening nursing shortage, the Pallister government has consistently under spent its health budget since 2017, and actual health care spending has fallen short of what is needed to keep pace with inflation and population growth. The federal government continues to provide Manitoba with annual 3 per cent increases to health care transfers. Despite these increases, the operational spending falls short of keeping pace with inflation, and will only worsen existing pressures in health care.

"Vacancies, overtime, and workload are increasing because we continue to face a serious nursing shortage," added Jackson. "We have been speaking out about this shortage for years now. The government is well aware of this problem. If they are serious about solving these challenges and addressing a growing pandemic, they need to demonstrate a stronger commitment to health care."

MNU represents over 12,000 nurses of all designations from across Manitoba.

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