Responding to the Speech from the Throne at the opening of the first session of the 40th legislature, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce CEO, Graham Starmer, calls for stronger leadership in this crucial issue for Manitobans, and will call on business leaders to work with the Chambers in forming a special advisory council on healthcare. 

Graham Starmer

“Health care is the number one priority of Manitobans, and we are pleased that the government has highlighted this in the Throne Speech,” said Starmer. “ There are positive signals in the promised direction, which we are pleased to see, but there needs to be much more substantive leadership and citizen and business input.  Given that over 43% of the budget is spent on healthcare, we need to be assured that these funds are used in the most efficient and measureable way to provide the best standard of care.”   

“To properly manage value, both outcomes and cost must be measured at the patient level. Measured outcomes and cost must encompass the entire cycle of care for a patient’s particular medical condition,” added Starmer, citing examples from Europe and British Columbia approaches.   “Studies have shown that a powerful driver of value in health care is that better outcomes often go hand in hand with lower total care cycle costs.  For example, spending more on early detection and better diagnosis can spare a person suffering and often leads to less complex and less expensive care later.” 

Acknowledging that this is a complex issue that requires input from multiple stakeholders, Starmer announced that the Manitoba Chambers are in process of forming a special President’s Advisory Committee on Healthcare in Manitoba.  The committee will reference a successful initiative recently completed in Ontario by accounting and consultancy firm, PwC, to help define its terms of reference and direction for Manitoba.   

“The results of the Citizens’ Reference Panel on Ontario’s Health Services conducted by PwC were shared with us last week and we were impressed,” he added.  “It highlights a new approach to the debate on the future of healthcare whereby 28 Ontario citizens were engaged in complex public policy discussions.   The outcome of this event that was conducted earlier this year is a comprehensive report that will help inform the thinking of the government, policy makers and healthcare providers.  Providing insights into the peoples’ attitudes and views on how we build a more sustainable and cost effective healthcare system will be a key outcome for much needed reform and a healthy system that benefits our communities.  This has been lauded in Ontario as a ‘health care paper that makes sense.’” 

Working with a coalition of business associations and business leaders, the Manitoba Chambers’ policy committee expects to have the healthcare advisory committee working on the issue in early 2012.  

The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce represents 64 local Chambers of Commerce and over 370 direct corporate members with over 800 points of contact, overseeing a network of more than 10,000 businesses and community leaders. For more information on PwC’s ‘Shape the Future’ report please link to:  http://www.pwc.com/ca/shapethefuture.             

Contact:

Sue Barkman, Director Policy and Communications | The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce
227 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2A6 • Ph (204) 948-0103 Fax (204) 948-0110
Email: [email protected]