Treaty 1 Territory, Métis Homeland, Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba Liberal Health Critic Dr. Jon Gerrard introduced a Private Members Bill 201 today, the Regional Health Authorities Amendment Act. The Bill takes an approach to bring accountability in health care.
Bill 201 would ensure that all provincial health authorities, the Regional Health Authorities, Shared Health and Cancer Care Manitoba, would have to table their annual reports in the Manitoba Legislature. The reports would then be referred to a committee meeting, just as they are now with Manitoba Crown Corporations annual reports.
This important initiative is long overdue given that the budgets of each of these health authorities are large, totalling more than $3.8 billion dollars in the current fiscal year.
As it currently stands, the Health Minister appears in estimates, but the health authorities do not have to come to committee to answer questions. The result is that the health authorities operate with insufficient accountability to Manitoba MLAs in the Legislature.
Manitoba Liberals have long believed there is a need for improved accountability in health care.
Dr. Gerrard first introduced legislation to have accountability as a fundamental principle in the delivery of health care two decades ago, and has done so several times since. Both the PCs and the NDP have ignored calls for more accountability in health care. The result has been a health care system with inadequate oversight.
The bill is of particular importance today given the state of our health care system, the global pandemic, and wait lists for surgeries and procedures exceeding 136, 000.