Manitoba NDP Promises Better Cardiac Care for Manitobans with New Centre of Excellence at St. Boniface

September 13, 2023 | Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB - Today the Leader of the Manitoba NDP Wab Kinew announced that a Manitoba NDP government will work with health professionals to create a centre of excellence for cardiac care at St. Boniface hospital. 

“Heart disease affects so many Manitobans,” said Kinew. “I want us to have the best heart health care here in Manitoba and it starts here at St. Boniface by creating a Centre of Excellence that restores the cardiac centre Heather Stefanson cut and broke apart. We used to have one of the best cardiac programs in the country but after Stefanson’s cuts, specialists are struggling to keep up with fewer and fewer resources.”   

“The Manitoba NDP will bring services back under one roof at St. Boniface so Manitobans can get the best cardiac care,” said Kinew. 

In 2017, St. Boniface hospital’s Cardiac Sciences program was ranked one of the best in Canada, according to a Canadian Institute for Health Information report. The program was celebrated for its excellent health outcomes achieved by a culture of collaboration between health professionals across disciplines, but Heather Stefanson’s PC government cut funding, cut positions, and left many others vacant.  

In his 2022 review of the program, former President of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Dr. Andrew Krahn, wrote that the government had a plan to “dismantle the Cardiac Services Program” and that the dismantlement process is nearly complete. 

“I’ve worked at the St. Boniface cardiac program for 20 years as a perfusionist. We used to have a great, team-based approach to care,” said Bill Gibb, a perfusionist at the Cardiac Science program. “But in the last five years, it feels like we’ve been neglected and ignored. We’ve lost ground to the rest of the country.” 

Kinew has a provincial vision for cardiac care, which includes more support for program leaders, filling specialist vacancies, and restoring funding for data and analysis. These commitments will help track patient outcomes, reduce patient wait times, and restore the program to a true centre of excellence. 

“I commend the planned restoration of the provincial vision for the cardiac program by the Manitoba NDP.” said Dr. Krahn.