TREATY ONE TERRITORY, WINNIPEG, MB - Some seniors in Riverview and Deer Lodge are suddenly facing a hike in prescription prices due to the Pallister government's change in policy. Manitoba Liberals say the PCs must reverse the policy immediately.
The PCs have moved PCHs from being categorized as "acute" to "community care" - with the result that many seniors on fixed incomes are facing increased drug costs of $150 a month - or $1800 a year - effective December 1.
Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont, MLA St. Boniface, said the change needs to be reversed.
"Many seniors can barely afford their medication as it is, and here is Pallister government adding $1800 a year to people living on a fixed income. It's not acceptable," said Lamont. "The PCs idea of fairness means that all seniors will pay too much for medications."
This is not the first time the PCs have reduced coverage and dumped extra costs onto seniors in the name of "savings" or "fairness".
In 2018, the PCs canceled the Special Drugs Program - formerly the Life-Saving Drugs program - which covered the full cost of certain medications for hundreds of Manitobans, including diabetes, cystic fibrosis and more.
Lamont was also critical of outsourcing all drug services to an Ontario-based company owned by Shoppers' Drug Mart, Medisystems. Over 100 rural personal care homes in Manitoba used to be serviced by local pharmacies, but the PCs handed the contract to an Ontario-based company.
"At a time there is a huge concern about local jobs and local business, the PCs keep handing massive contracts to giant companies from outside Manitoba," said Lamont. "The PCs keep sending more and more of our money out of province instead of keeping it here to build community."