The statements we're hearing from doctors are horrifying. It is not acceptable to have tens of thousands of Manitobans not knowing when they will get treatment for a curable condition that could kill or disable them.
All of these backlogs were getting worse before the pandemic struck because the PCs went out of their way to gut the health care system and fire people.
Every single year since the PCs were elected in 2016, hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery waits got worse. Between 2017 and 2019, Manitoba health spending was flat for three years straight, while the PCs closed ERs, ICUs, and deleted nursing positions.
Doctors Manitoba says the roadblocks are not enough nurses, operating rooms, recovery space or beds.
The Government needs a plan to clear this backlog. That is going to take a massive change in direction, but it must be done because it was getting steadily worse before the pandemic.
The problem is not money. The PCs can always find $200-million for a stadium, or $500-million a year to borrow to finance a tax cut. The PCs are getting more than $1-billion a year more in transfer payments than they did five years ago, even before special pandemic payments.
The PCs have been peddling a lie that Manitobans cannot afford decent health care for all, so they stripped our health care system down to "health-care lite," where Manitoba can't care for its own. We send ICU patients out of province and we leave tens of thousands on wait lists in agony. This is all totally unnecessary. In fact, it is immoral.
Canada, and Manitoba, have more than enough resources and wealth to ensure that no one suffers in this way, and that we can care for everyone. It is not that we can't do it. It is that the PCs - and the NDP before them - refuse to.