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McFadyen can’t be trusted at premiers’ table
Greg Selinger announced his priorities for negotiating the next national health accord, including fighting for continued stable funding increases to help secure the long-term future of health care for Manitoba families.
“The government that Manitobans elect on October 4 will be negotiating the next national health accord. They deserve a team who will fight for the best deal for Manitoba families,” said Premier Selinger. “Mr. McFadyen has put his plan on the table, one that will cut billions of dollars from front-line health care in our province.”
Mr. McFadyen has called for health care spending to be cut back and limited to the rate of economic growth. It is a position that ignores the national reality of Canada’s aging population and staffing and drug costs that consistently outpace the rate economic growth. Manitoba’s economic growth is projected to be 2.6 per cent in 2011/12.
The last national health care accord was negotiated in 2004. It was a 10-year deal that provided stable federal funding increases at a rate of six per cent per year – more than double the rate of economic growth. The accord expires in 2014 and the federal government has only pledged to maintain funding levels for an additional two years, leaving no certainty about the long-term future of health care.
Greg Selinger will work with the other provinces and territories and will take a strong position in the next health accord negotiations, including:
- fighting for a minimum 10-year deal with stable funding increases;
- creating a national strategy to meet the needs of the growing number of seniors;
- pushing for federal support to acquire rapidly advancing health technology; and
- improving health care on First Nations.
“Mr. McFadyen’s negotiating leverage at the Premiers’ Table would fall far short of what Manitobans need for the future of their health care,” added Selinger. “I’ve never seen anyone open a negotiation by saying they’d settle for less than half of what’s currently on the table.”
Stable funding increases have been critical to improvements in Manitoba’s health care system. During the global economic recession, Prime Minister Harper stood up and maintained stable health funding to provinces. Manitoba’s NDP government stood up and maintained stable health funding to protect front line health services. Mr. McFadyen, on the other hand, was the only leader in the country to try to cut half a billion dollars from front line services like health care.
In fact, Mr. McFadyen’s entire career has been about privatizing health care, cutting services and laying off front line staff. McFadyen played what he described as a “central strategic role” in “health reform” in the previous PC government, with reforms that included:
- A failed home care privatization experiment that put services for seniors at risk.
- Laying off over 1,000 nurses.
- Cutting the number medical school spaces.
- Creating a hallway medicine epidemic.
- Cutting funding to hospitals and personal care homes across Manitoba.
- Letting private facilities charge patients user fees, resulting in the former PC government paying over $2 million in federal penalties for violating the Canada Health Act.
More recently, Mr. McFadyen proposed cutting back health funding to the rate of economic growth, letting public hospitals and private health facilities compete to provide health services and creating two-tier health care by proposing to let private facilities charge patients for diagnostic services.