The holidays have been filled with many celebrations and have left many Northern residents in anticipation of what the rest of the year has in store. I believe many, like myself, hope for improved healthcare, community-tailored social services, improved education, more jobs, and an overall better economic environment.
However, the current government continues to dim the hopes of a better health system and better health services. They announced Phase Two of the health care overhaul and this appears to be the basis for more cuts to health care services in rural Manitoba.
The extended closure of the three operating rooms at Thompson General Hospital means there have been and will be more delays and cancellations of various surgical procedures. From June to August 2019, 123 elective surgeries were cancelled. These are operations such as C-sections; there is a clear need for repairs of the operating rooms to be expedited to ensure that these services are restored to our community.
The December 2019 Northern Health Region Community Health Assessment showed areas in which our health system is failing. One of the areas where the province is lacking is in access to health care providers - 28.2 per cent of residents did not have access in their residential areas. Our residents should always have sufficient health care services with the required personnel readily available to attend to residents’ health concerns close to home.
The report also noted that personal care home admissions from hospitals and directly from the community increased remarkably last year. This is very alarming and speaks to the need for the government to ensure that we have enough personal care home beds to attend to and cater to our aging population. Yet the provincial government has failed to build a single bed in the last four years.
Northern residents should not have to wait long periods of time to receive the essential services they need. They must improve Northern health care and tailor services that can well support our residents.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (204) 677 2744.