Statement from Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Party Leader and MLA for St. Boniface: It is hard to find words to describe the tragic and disturbing situation at Manitoba's Health Sciences Centre (HSC) where patients with serious injuries are stuck waiting days for care.
The official response, which is to blame an unexpected surge of patients, is shameful. The Stefanson Government and public health know full well that Covid cases have been climbing and filling ICUs for weeks.
In the early days of the pandemic, we required public health measures to protect the health care system from being overwhelmed and breaking down. Regular updates to the public were provided.
Now, Manitoba's biggest hospital, Health Sciences Centre, is being overwhelmed and little is being done to address the crisis in health care across the province. It is also the only hospital to be run by Shared Health.
There are two colossal failures that the PCs have to immediately address.
First, Covid has never been as infectious or deadly as it is today. There are hundreds of thousands of Manitobans who are under-vaccinated, or whose immunity is fading, yet the PCs aren't even doing the bare minimum to keep people safe or inform them on how to stay safe.
If the PCs expect Manitobans to cope with Covid on their own, they need to provide real tools to fight it and be confident in the health system to handle surges of patients seeking care.
Second, the Stefanson Government must recognize that Manitoba's health care system did not break on its own. The PCs went out of their way to break it. They closed ERs, urgent cares, access clinics and beds against the warnings of experts.
There needs to be immediate action to ensure that patients are safe and that all staff have the supports they need to do their jobs.
Just as important, nurses, doctors and everyone at HSC must be able to speak up about what is happening without fear of retribution. Together, the PCs and NDP created a health care system defined by fear and intimidation. That must end.
The PCs and Health Minister Audrey Gordon have been hearing the same warnings that Manitoba Liberals have been hearing for years, but have refused to act.
Consequently, we do not have confidence in Minister Gordon to deliver these reforms and we call on her to accept responsibility and tender her resignation. The next Minister must immediately restore public confidence in our health care system.