WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberals say the Pallister Government's decision to pull back on home care services last Thursday is a mistake made worse by not communicating the decision to families.
In the Public Health and Shared Health briefing, April 13, officials acknowledged the Province has made significant changes to home care. As of last Thursday evening, April 9, services for bathing, cleaning and laundry were eliminated for many Manitobans who depend on home care.
"It is completely unacceptable that this cutback to home care services was not a part of the government briefing anytime from April 9 - 12 and was not covered in the initial statement today on Monday April 13th," said Jon Gerrard, Manitoba Liberal Health Critic and MLA for River Heights. "This is a major change affecting many seniors, who are some of the most at risk during this pandemic."
It is important when such cutbacks occur that people in Manitoba are given a warning of what is coming so that alternatives can be considered by family or friends and so that, when there are no alternatives, the decision can be appealed and home care can be provided.
Manitoba Liberals spoke with one individual, whose family only found out about the problem on Monday April 13, four days after the cutbacks were made. They were not able, and are still not able, to provide any of these services by family members and so are in the position of having somehow to find alternatives when the government service fails completely.
Manitoba Liberals are also calling on the government to include such critical changes in policy in a full announcement the day before the change is made so that people can be aware of the decisions.
"Given the risk that seniors face to COVID-19, it is more important than ever that home care services are maintained by trained health care workers, and that home care workers get the personal protection they need to do their jobs," said Dougald Lamont, MLA for St. Boniface and Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party. "If we can keep people safe and healthy at home, we can keep them out of hospitals."