Media Statement: MNU President Darlene Jackson Responds to Proposal to Use Private Health Care to Address Surgery Backlog

Publish date: Thursday, July 02, 2020

COVID-19

MNU President

Politics & Government

"Nurses understand that the COVID-19 pandemic response has created a backlog of patients that require surgery and we want to see those patients get the surgery they need as quickly as possible. The fact is, the way to address that backlog is through the public health care system.

Unfortunately, the Pallister government has spent the last 4 years reducing the capacity of the public system. Under the Pallister government’s health care consolidation plan in Winnipeg, we’ve lost approximately 55 surgical beds from the system. We’ve also seen a reduction of approximately 12 per cent in available nursing positions in surgery in Winnipeg. We’ve lost capacity in other parts of the province as well. They’ve effectively reduced the system’s capacity to address the backlog.

Expanding private health care delivery is not the answer. We’re already facing a serious shortage of nurses and other health care providers in Manitoba. Attempting to increase capacity by expanding private health care delivery risks eroding our existing public capacity by pulling health care professionals out of the public system.

The way to appropriately deal with the surgeries backlog is by investing and building capacity in the public health care system, not expanding privatized health care. The Pallister government can and should focus on restoring and enhancing public surgical capacity, to ensure patients get the safe, timely, consistent, high quality care they deserve."
 

 - MNU President Darlene Jackson

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