Manitoba NDP Call for Public Health Update as Children’s Hospital Declares a Crisis

On November 9th, Children’s Hospital declared a “crisis” as a surge of RSV cases along with severe cold and flu viruses have increased visits to the Children’s ER by 50%. Five days later, there is still no update from Public Health on the crisis.

“Parents of young children are feeling worried right now,” said NDP Health Care critic Uzoma Asagwara. “We need to hear what this government’s plan is to ensure children will get the surgeries and care they need. Parents need reassurance and advice on how to keep their children healthy during this surge of RSV. We know Manitobans will listen to public health officials. It’s time for the Premier to address parents' concerns and call a public health briefing for the public.”

Public health officials across the country have called for more urgent communication with the public as RSV and other illnesses overwhelm children’s hospitals. The province of Saskatchewan provides bi-weekly data through their Community Respiratory Illness Surveillance Program. And earlier today, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer held a news briefing on the "triple threat” of influenza, RSV and Covid-19.

On Friday, Childrens Hospital in Toronto announced they were cancelling pediatric surgeries to redeploy staff to ERs and ICUs.

“The last time our health care system faced a crisis, Premier Stefanson told Manitobans they were on their own,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “I know Manitobans will do what’s right to protect kids and our health care workers, but the Premier needs to face this and call a public health briefing. We need leadership and guidance to bring people together and help families stay safe and healthy.”