Nurses, patients speak out: Highlights from our letter-writing campaign

Publish date: Monday, February 26, 2018

MNU members

Put Patients First

Union news

Manitobans are joining Nurses in speaking out against cuts and changes to health care. Over 400 people have sent letters to the Premier and their MLA using MNU’s letter-writing template at This effort, launched at the beginning of January, builds on the momentum of our Put Patients First awareness campaign launched last spring.

Letters have been sent by Manitobans from all walks of life, yet a consistent theme has been a deep appreciation for the work nurses do.

“I cherish every nurse who helped me when I needed it most,” wrote one recent patient. “I think that my experience is not unusual… We need more nurses, and their jobs should not be threatened by budget cuts!”

Many nurses who wrote in are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with increasing workloads.

“I worked in the Emergency Department of our local hospital for 26 years,” wrote one veteran nurse. “I have seen on many, many occasions where nurses have forgone their coffee breaks and lunch breaks in order to deal with the overload of patients.”

Another nurse who recently began their career wrote about how position deletions and restructuring are compromising patient care. They explained how “the expectation to complete more work with less staff leads to increases in the number of nurses missing breaks…increases in the amount of overtime worked, and an increase in sick calls.”

One patient described the care they received, noting “the nurses were what made all the difference. I will never forget the two nurses that helped me to deliver my baby at SBGH. Without nurses, the health care system will fail. We need advocacy for our nurses and front line health care workers.”

Another wrote with concern about access to health care: “central Winnipeg has lost Misericordia as urgent care. Victoria is not nearly as accessible by bus for those without a car in other areas. Jobs are being cut. This is not healing healthcare, this is harming it.” Indeed, accessibility to quality care has been one of the most consistent concerns shared with MLAs.

MNU President Sandi Mowat said it’s inspiring to see Manitobans joining with nurses to speak out. “The response has been terrific. It’s important that MLAs hear from nurses and patients about the changes they’re making,” said Mowat. “As nurses we must do our part to take action and speak out against changes that make it harder for us to provide the care patients need.”

Mowat also shared her concern that Phase II will only put greater pressure on the remaining facilities in the WRHA. “We’ve called on the government to reconsider Phase II. We believe it will be difficult for the remaining facilities to pick up the increased patient load from Concordia and Seven Oaks,” she said.

“All Manitobans deserve a public health care system that puts safe, quality patient care first.”

MNU’s Put Patients First campaign continues! Share your thoughts and send a letter at


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