Kinew Condemns $36 Million Dollar Cut to Winnipeg Health Care

Kinew reveals true cost of Premier’s plan to close 3 ERs

October 29, 2018

Today, Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew shared documents that revealed a 36 million dollar cut to the Winnipeg hospitals and revealed Pallister is spending over $30 million to close three ERs across the city.

Documents obtained through freedom of information laws reveal the Pallister government has ordered the WRHA to cut their budget by $36.6 million. This target will be obtained by cuts to nearly twenty different budget lines, including bed consolidation and staffing efficiencies ($4.7 million, vacancy management ($573,078) and program initiatives ($4.4 million). Last year the Pallister government mandated the WRHA cut their budget by $83 million.

“In just two years Pallister has ordered Winnipeg’s health care system to be cut by more than $119 million,” said Kinew. “These budget reductions have translated into real cuts to the essential health services Winnipeg families rely on like outpatient physiotherapy, the Mature Women’s Centre and the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre.”

Kinew noted the biggest cuts are in staffing and overtime for nurses. Nurses have reported working 16 hour shifts to cover staffing shortages at units with some of the most vulnerable patients, like Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at St. Boniface Hospital.

Another government document shows the costs of the WRHA’s clinical consolidation plan, including closing three ERs across Winnipeg. The total cost to date of the Pallister government’s health care consolidation plan is $33.5 million.

The documents project WRHA’s costs to consolidate multiple units across the system such as the adult emergency department at HSC ($1.2 million), the ambulatory clinic at HSC ($12 million) and the redevelopment of the ER at St. Boniface Hospital ($5 million).

“Pallister is spending $33.5 million to close three emergency rooms and cut beds at the same time that he is slashing the WRHA’s overall budget by $36 million,” said Kinew. “These cuts hurt families and put our health care system at risk. We have to invest in health care and strengthen our system so that Winnipeg families can get the care they need. Pallister’s cuts are taking our health care system in the wrong direction.”