“Wait times continue to challenge Manitobans . . . with MAHCP’s initiative of ‘Eliminate the Wait’ it is our goal to have us all pulling together,” said MAHCP president Wendy Despins.
The event – the MAHCP-sponsored public forum held July 10/07 was our union’s latest foray into the public debate over wait times. The forum follows on the heels of the Eliminate the Wait campaign begun by MAHCP in the fall of 2006.
The forum pulled together a wide variety of panelists from diverse disciplines and perspectives. MAHCP president Wendy Despins led the panelists, consisting of Wendy Despins President MAHCP, Professor Pete Hudson Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Rebecca Walberg Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Dr. Sid Frankel Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, Honourable Dr. Jon Gerard and Dr. Luis Oppenheimer WRHA Provincial Director of Patient Access WRHA.
Each panelist spoke on wait time issues, and the public was given opportunity to voice concerns, provide anecdotes of systemic problems and ideas for change.
The forum was well-received by attendees; many participants were grateful for a chance to speak to the need for improved health care within the structure of Medicare. A number also thanked the MAHCP for the opportunity to have health professionals and consumers speaking to each other about these issues.
The forum likewise gave the MAHCP the ability to build bridges between the union and government in attendance, by putting forth members’ views about improving health care, giving the government the union’s perspective and laying plans for future meetings.
See our article in the September MAHCP newsletter for more details and highlights of our first public forum!