MODEST INCREASE TO HEALTH CARE SPENDING IN 2015 MANITOBA BUDGET POSITIVE STEP, HOWEVER MORE NEEDED: MAHCP
Winnipeg — The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is encouraged to see a modest increase — $188 million or a 3.2 per cent hike – in the 2015 Manitoba budget towards health care. However, many patients and their families require more and unilateral decisions at the federal level on health transfers are sure to worsen the situation down the road.
Bob Moroz, president of the MAHCP, which represents more than 3,600 health care workers in 160-plus disciplines from pharmacists to occupational therapists and social workers, said Thursday that the provincial government’s commitment to “more doctors, nurses and health-care professionals” is a positive step.
The 2015 Manitoba budget includes funding increases to health authorities for: acute care services, long term care services, home care services, community and mental health services, and emergency response and transport services. (Pg. 93, Budget 2015: Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue)
“Our hope is increased funding will mean more front-line services will be protected and perhaps expanded,” said Moroz. “We’ve witnessed firsthand the effects of over-burdened workers in our hospitals and other health care facilities.”
The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals agrees with the Manitoba government that federal actions are having a negative impact on the province’s health care system.
The Harper government let the Canada Health Accord, which provided stable funding to the provinces and set goals for such things as wait times and home care, lapse in March of 2014. The feds are proposing that health care funding be tied to growth along with the economy, at about three per cent, which is half of the previous escalator (six per cent). Net effect: less money for health care.
The Manitoba government estimates this change means “the federal government’s contribution to health care in Canada will be reduced by about $26 billion from 2017/18 to 2023/24.” (Pg. D2, Budget 2015: Budget and Budget Papers)
“We feel this move is incredibly short-sighted: we have an aging population and a serious need for more health care workers, new facilities and equipment,” added Moroz. “This isn’t the time to be cutting health spending. Provincial governments shouldn’t be expected to pick up the slack.”
MAHCP President Bob Moroz is currently en route to B.C. for a conference, but will be available for phone interviews after 5:30 pm Thursday. Media inquiries can be directed to Bernice Pontanilla, MAHCP Communications Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-290-5829.