Manitoba NDP Condemn Pallister’s Cut to Northern Mothers

November 7, 2018

The Manitoba NDP have condemned the Pallister government’s move to cancel an obstetrics program in Flin Flon and eliminate a northern hub for expecting mothers and their families.

Yesterday the Northern Regional Health Authority announced they would be indefinitely suspending the obstetrical delivery program at Flin Flon Hospital due to provincial budget cuts and a shortage of obstetricians and anesthesiologists. The cancellation came after the government conducted an external review of the obstetrics program that led to the suspension of the program. It leaves just two places that northern families can go to for reproductive healthcare, the Pas and Thompson.

“The Pallister government has cut millions from northern healthcare and families are starting to feel the effects,” said Tom Lindsey, NDP MLA for Flin Flon. “Without access to quality care close to home, northern mothers may face significant risks to their health and the health of their babies. Northern communities deserve the same quality and access to healthcare that other Manitobans have.”

Lindsey noted the Flin Flon program was used by families from the smaller surrounding communities and First Nations, as well as Saskatchewan residents who border the town. These families remain unclear how they will access services in other communities, because they will not qualify for the province’s northern patient transport program.

Wab Kinew, Leader of the Manitoba NDP, condemned the Pallister government for abandoning northern families and putting expecting mothers at risk.

“As the parent of a new baby myself, I understand the anxiety that families about to give birth experience. Having the freedom to have your baby close to home is one of the big priorities I hear from northerners, and one we should all support,” said Kinew. “The Pallister government’s heartless cuts have a real impact and our northern families deserve better.”