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Manitoba Liberals Announce Plan for Enhanced Protection and Care of Seniors

Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB –

The Manitoba Liberal Party announced a suite of platform planks ahead of the fall provincial election they say would take the care and protection of seniors in Manitoba to a new level. The commitments include:

  • Improving the quality of health care in Personal Care Homes. A Manitoba Liberal Government will place nurse practitioners in care homes to provide a higher level of preventive care. Nurse Practitioners can perform many duties and assessments comparable to physicians, including prescribing medications. Residents will see a significant improvement in the quality of care while preventing costly ambulance trips and visits to the ER and hospital.

  • Protecting affordable housing for seniors, and preventing future sell-offs of seniors’ housing, like Lions’ Place, by bringing in legislation requiring the Minister to sign off on future sales. Manitoba Liberals commit to supporting affordable rents for seniors housing with current ownership.

  • Empowering and Establishing “Family Councils” to hold Personal Care Homes to account. The Manitoba Liberals have already introduced legislation to make it happen.

  • Improving staffing ratios to 4.1 hours of direct care per resident per day to make sure seniors get more attention and care.

  • Ensuring seniors and their families have an independent advocate to turn to. A Manitoba Liberal Government will create an independent office of a Seniors Advocate. They will have the power to take complaints and investigate on behalf of seniors and their families and report issues to the legislature. The Seniors Advocate will launch unannounced inspections of facilities to make sure they are compliant. Manitoba Liberal MLA Cindy Lamoureux first proposed the idea of a Seniors Advocate for Manitoba in 2016.

“For years, and in some cases decades, there have been no investments in improving care and support for seniors' housing and health care in our province. When the pandemic hit, the system broke in all the weak places - and it was often seniors and their families who were hit hardest,” said Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface. “For now and into the future, we want to take the protection and care of seniors in Manitoba to a new level, with more intensive preventive care, better oversight, and better housing protections. These are long-term investments in making the system work.”

“The idea of nurse practitioners in care homes has been very successful elsewhere - you see real improvements in seniors’ health, problems get caught sooner, and you can actually keep people out of the hospital. Together with improvements in staffing, we’ll see a huge improvement in the quality of care that residents receive - and it will be more fiscally responsible, because it’s where seniors live, not in a hospital or ER,” said Dr. Jon Gerrard, Manitoba Liberal Health Critic and MLA for River Heights.

"The idea of having a Senior's Advocate is not new, but the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted various concerns relating to seniors going unnoticed. We need a non-partisan Senior's Advocate where seniors and families can turn to when facing issues within facilities, homecare, home repairs, transportation, and other decisions made by this government," said Cindy Lamoureux, Manitoba Liberal MLA for Tyndall Park. Prior to this campaign announcement, Manitoba Liberals made a health care promise at their Annual General Meeting to improve health wait times for Manitobans. An elected Manitoba Liberal Government will introduce ‘Thank You Attraction and Retention Bonuses of $10,000 to nurses and professional health care staff who have been working in the public system, and to those who commit to returning to the public system.

Manitoba Liberals say a fully costed platform will be released well in advance of the October Provincial Election.

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