“Cost-driven reforms are risky for patients and not the only way to find savings.”— Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (21 Nov. 2017) — The Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGEU/NUPGE) has sent a letter to Kelvin Goertzen, Manitoba’s Minister of Health, calling for an urgent meeting regarding media reports last week that the Western Manitoba Health Care Task Force is recommending the closure of ERs in several rural communities.
Some of these communities have already been slated to lose their EMS station.
Shocked and alarmed that anyone would consider closing ERs
In the letter, Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President, told the minister that both front-line health care workers and members of these communities are shocked and alarmed that anyone would even consider closing these ERs. .
“When you live in rural Manitoba, something like your hospital is everything. Where you live shouldn’t determine the kind of care you receive when it comes to medical emergencies,” stated Gawronsky. “Cost-driven reforms are risky for patients and not the only way to find savings.”
Gawronsky visited over 80 communities and 30 health care facilities
Gawronsky has visited over 80 communities and 30 health care facilities over the course of the summer and fall. She had a chance to hear directly from front-line workers about what they think could be done better, including scheduling of shifts.
“Numerous times over the last year I have asked the Minister to meet directly with MGEU health care workers to talk about how they feel health care services could be improved,” she said. “Unfortunately, we’re still waiting. So once again, I urged the Minister to meet with us, the sooner the better, to discuss alternatives to outright closing a lifeline in these communities.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE