Health

Every family should be able to get the care they need, when they need it.

When we first formed government, we made the decision to build one of the strongest health care systems right here in Manitoba, based on a fundamental belief in universal health care— because nothing is more important than your family’s health.

  • The biggest danger to families is Brian Pallister’s plan for American-style, two-tier health care. We reject a health care system where wealthy Manitobans get to move to the front of the line. Instead, we’re hiring more doctors, pathologists and nurse practitioners to make sure we never again have the staff shortages that put our health system in crisis when the Conservatives were last in government.

  • We’re opening three more QuickCare clinics in the coming months on top of the five we already have open. These innovative clinics are open evenings, weekends and holidays as an alternative to going to the ER or a walk-in clinic. There, nurses and nurse practitioners can help you with minor health issues that aren’t an emergency, but shouldn’t wait for regular clinic hours.

  • We’re covering 100% of the cost of approved cancer medication and support drugs, whether at home or in hospital. This allows families battling cancer to do so in the comfort of their own home, without worrying about the cost. We’re also offering new supports for rural cancer patients through community and regional cancer hubs.

Families tell us they expect some of the best hospitals and medical programs in Canada. We’ll continue to protect and improve health care to make life better for all Manitobans.


Health Stats & Facts

Our government is committed to protecting and improving health care for Manitoba families, including:

  • Hiring more doctors and nurses so they can spend more time providing care;

  • Making sure your family gets access to the life-saving drugs and treatments they need; and

  • Continuing to expand on our state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

We have built and upgraded over 100 health facilities since 1999, including a new cardiac centre of excellence, more clinics, a new Northern Youth Crisis Unit, a birth centre, more personal care homes, a Mental Health Crisis Response Centre and new and expanded hospitals.

We’re also building ACCESS Centres and QuickCare Clinics, a new Women’s Hospital, and an MRI program for the Children’s Hospital.

Budget 2015 created a new child and youth mental health strategy to promote mental health, prevent mental illness and strengthen available resources.

Health Minister Sharon Blady (left), Healthy Living and Seniors Minister Deanne Crothers and Assiniboia MLA Jim Rondeau announce new X-ray equipment coming to the Grace Hospital. Our government is also building a new MRI at the Grace, which will allow the hospital to perform thousands of additional scans a year.

Expanding our workforce

Every Manitoban who wants one will have access to a family doctor by the end of 2015.

  • We’ve already added over 732 more doctors since 1999, including over 250 more family doctors.

  • There are 3,714 more nurses practicing in Manitoba than there were in 1999.

  • We are growing our work force and hiring new nurses to replace those who are retiring—we’ve hired a total of 2,419 nurses since 2011.This is in stark contrast to when the Conservatives were in government, when we lost 1,573 nurses (1992-1999).

  • We have expanded training with additional undergraduate medical education seats, more post-graduate medical residencies, expansion of nurse-practitioner and registered-nurse education seats, and comprehensive recruitment and retention initiatives.

Implementing our cancer strategy

Every family has been touched by cancer. That’s why we’re building the best system in the country to deliver the fastest testing, diagnosis and treatment.

  • Manitoba already has the shortest wait times for radiation therapy in the country. Now we need to reduce the time it takes to get tested and diagnosed. We will reduce wait times to two months or less from the time cancer is first suspected to the start of effective treatment—including all referrals, testing, and diagnosis.

  • We established 17 Regional and Community Cancer hubs across Manitoba, including new cancer patient advocates who take care of scheduling appointments and coordinating faster care for patients.

Improving Pharmacare

Manitobans, especially seniors and those on fixed incomes, look to Pharmacare to keep the costs of their prescription medication manageable.

We’re making it more affordable for families to get the medication they need to treat their conditions and live their lives to the fullest. We don’t want the barrier of medication costs to affect families.

  • To protect families from soaring prescription drug costs, we’re limiting Pharmacare deductibles to the rate of inflation. We’re also the only province to make sure everyone is entitled to join our Pharmacare program, no matter their age or medical needs.

  • Unlike most other provinces, our Pharmacare Program covers 100% of approved drug costs once the income-based deductible is reached, regardless of age or medical condition.

  • Anyone who is living in a personal care home or who is receiving social assistance pays no Pharmacare deductible.

  • Over the last 16 years, approximately 4,500 new drugs have been added to Manitoba’s world-class Pharmacare program. These include drugs that treat influenza, reduce the risk of heart attack, treat severe eczema and for the treatment of HIV.

Dramatically reduced wait times

Our government has been making significant investments to reduce health care wait times.

Manitoba continues to have the shortest wait time for cancer radiation therapy in Canada at one week. In 1999, radiation therapy wait times were dangerously long at six weeks.

We have made a number of recent wait time investments, which will continue to help improve the length of wait times in a number of priority areas.

  • Today, 100% of all cardiac patients in Manitoba receive their surgeries within the medically recommended benchmark.

  • Manitoba ranks first in the country for radiation therapy and for hip fracture repair because of the investments we have made in these areas.

Rural and northern health

Manitoba has one of the highest retention rates for rural doctors in Canada and Budget 2015’s investments in rural health care will see increased numbers of doctors and nurses, new clinics, and upgraded emergency rooms and diagnostic facilities to serve rural families.

We are continuing to build new and improved health facilities in rural Manitoba including:

  • a new community clinic in Swan River;

  • a Dauphin emergency department;

  • the Selkirk hospital; and

  • a new, 10-bed health centre in Notre Dame de Lourdes.

Cancer Hubs are now open in The Pas and Thompson, and community cancer program hubs will continue to be offered in Flin Flon. These hubs are made up of health care providers and expert patient navigators who coordinate quick diagnosis, treatment and follow-up for patients.

October 2015