August 18. 2019
WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont announced today that a Manitoba Liberal Government will end Manitoba’s practice of “rationing care,” and improve wait times for hip and knee surgeries.
Recent figures from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) show Manitoba’s wait times for hip and knee replacements are the worst in the country and have gotten worse under the Pallister PCs.
“Manitoba Liberals will end the practice of rationing care, get people joint replacements more quickly, and restore physiotherapy so people can recover faster,” said Lamont. “This is a plan that is more fair, more practical, and makes sure that health care dollars go where they are supposed to - caring for patients.”
The Manitoba Liberals say the change will be made possible by switching to a “patient-based” funding model for the procedures. It has been successfully used in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, and elsewhere. As a system, it is flexible, more fair, and rewards efficiency and quality of care. The result is more procedures and shorter wait lists. These provinces all have much shorter wait times for joint replacements.
Lamont said a Manitoba Liberal Government will start by adding hip and knee replacements to “patient-based” funding and add more procedures over time.
The Manitoba Liberals will also restore coverage for outpatient physiotherapy that was cancelled by the PCs.
Lamont said he had spoken to therapists and physiotherapists who were appalled by the cuts to their work, which can be essential for people to recover fully from some procedures - especially knee replacements.
“I spoke to a constituent who could not afford private physiotherapy and was having to rely on Youtube videos after knee replacement surgery,” said Lamont. “Good physiotherapy speeds recovery from surgery and in some cases can even even prevent surgery. Our goal is to get people back on their feet and mobile as soon as we can.”