$2-billion Health Care Funding Guarantee will be used to hire 200 more nurses and 80 additional paramedics: Pallister
A re-elected Progressive Conservative government will reinforce front-line services and work with nurses to develop innovations that improve patient care as part of its $2-billion Health Care Funding Guarantee, Party Leader Brian Pallister announced today.
“We have worked hard to clean up the mess the NDP left behind in health care, transforming a system that got the worst results in the country into one that bucked a national trend by improving emergency wait times,” said Pallister. “Now we’re ready to move Manitoba forward and further strengthen the improvements we’ve made to health care.”
We will hire 200 more nurses. The PC government will hire 200 more nurses over the next four years as part of its $2-billion Health Care Funding Guarantee, improving patient care while reducing overtime for nurses. The new hires will further bolster the nursing ranks in Manitoba, which increased by more than 300 since the PC government took office in 2016 – including a net increase of 201 within the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority in the past year alone.
Health-care investments in Manitoba are at a record high under the PC government, $414 million above the NDP’s highest level of spending. The improvements made in health care since 2016 run contrary to the campaign of deception being run by Wab Kinew and the NDP, who are intentionally using flawed and inaccurate data that the Canadian Institute for Health Information walked back two months ago. These shameful efforts are an attempt to scare Manitobans and distract from their own pitiful record.
“The facts are, more nurses are working in Manitoba today than there ever were under the NDP,” said Pallister. “We’ll continue to happily hire any qualified nurse who wants a job in our health-care system.”
We will hire 80 more paramedics. The PC government will also continue its investment in paramedicine, committing to create 80 additional rural EMS positions over the next four years. Since 2016, 150 new rural EMS positions have been added to provide a more consistent level of care across all regions of Manitoba while ambulance fees have been reduced by 50 per cent.
The new nursing and paramedic staff will mirror the recent success Manitoba has had with doctor recruitment. The Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons reported last year that Manitoba neared a 10-year high in doctor recruitment, with a net increase of 78.
A new labour agreement with Doctors Manitoba that was ratified earlier this month contains further incentives to recruit and retain physicians. Under this new agreement, we have more than doubled the maternity and paternity benefits for physicians while increasing the physician continuing education fund by $1 million.
We will launch a Front-Line Idea Fund. Building on the success of the Core Government Idea Fund, which has seen a nearly 10-to-one return on investment to date, the Front-Line Idea Fund will invest up to $40 million in innovative projects brought forward by front-line health-care staff over the next term in office to make the system more efficient. All projects must find savings within four years while having no negative effect on patient care.
“The health-care system under the NDP was too big at the top – so big that no one could hear what the front-line is saying,” said Pallister. “We are protecting front-line workers. That’s why we’re asking the front-line for their ideas in improving health care so we can ensure the progress we’ve made continues.”
The estimated cost of these commitments, to be made over a four-year period, is approximately $60 million.