Manitoba Liberals are calling for the provincial government to re-examine their decision to proceed with sweeping changes to the structure of RHA's in Manitoba. Liberal leader Dougald Lamont responded to an e-mail dated December 1, 2021. Mike Nader, the CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority writes, “this week, the WRHA is beginning its next phase of the province’s health care system transformation.” This phase of the plan follows extensive changes in 2017. At that time the Progressive Conservative government laid the groundwork for what became the most radical health-care overhaul Manitoba had experienced in a generation. The biggest change — and most controversial — was the conversion of three of Winnipeg's six emergency rooms into urgent-care centres.
In this phase over 27 departments are affected.
“I have personally experienced these types of changes throughout my career, and I know how challenging it is. We are continuing to work hard every day to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on our community and I understand that this comes at an already difficult time.
For those of you who are affected by these changes, I want to assure you that this is in no way a reflection of your work or based on individual performance. This is not an easy process for anyone, but it is necessary for us to evolve as a system to meet the needs of our patients, clients and residents.
Even if you are not directly impacted, it’s important to be aware of these changes as the organizational and administrative structure of the WRHA will look different once this phase of transformation is complete. It’s also important that we offer our colleagues whose departments are included in this realignment – and each other – compassion, dignity, and respect.”
“It’s shocking, but this shows where the PCs priorities are. We are in a fourth wave of covid, our ICUs are over capacity, and we have a massive surgical and diagnostic backlog, but the PCs are pushing ahead with more disruption,” said Dougald Lamont, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party and MLA for St. Boniface. “The health care transformation has been an absolute disaster. It needs to stop so we can focus entirely on the pandemic and clearing the backlog of tests and surgeries.”
Dr. Jon Gerrard, Manitoba Liberal Health Critic, said the PCs decision to move ahead with disruptive changes continues to be wrongheaded and heartless. “Disruption at a time when doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are already under great stress in inappropriate. How will the task force plan to eliminate a surgical backlog when they don’t know if the person they are talking to will be fired or in a different position in two weeks time?” asked Gerrard. “Why is this government still following the Pallister PC playbook for dismantling health care?”