Winnipeg, MB – Brian Pallister has cut front line health care for the past three years after he said he wouldn’t in 2016 – he’s closed three ERs and seven clinics in Winnipeg, fired hundreds of nurses and slashed programs like outpatient physiotherapy.

“The only way Pallister can claim to spend billions more on health care is if he brings in a new source of revenue – like the $900 health care tax on every Manitoban he said he would look at in his second term,” said NDP Campaign spokesperson Erin Selby. “Pallister claims he won’t bring in a health care tax if re-elected, but he denied in 2016 he would fire any front-line health care workers – how can we believe him now?”

“Brian Pallister’s cuts to health care are hurting regular families – they are waiting longer in ERs since the closures and for important surgeries like hip and knee replacements,” said Selby. “Pallister is trying to run from his record of cuts, but Manitobans know Brian Pallister is the biggest threat to our health care system and only the NDP can stop him.”

Pallister says he won’t cut health care again. Manitobans won’t be fooled – they know Pallister says one thing but does another. Pallister’s record is clear:

  • In 2017/18, Pallister underspent his health care budget by $198 million
  • In 2018/19, Pallister underspent his health care budget by $240 million
    • Pallister underspent health capital alone by $104 million in 2018/19
  • In 2019/20, Pallister cut the budget for health care by $120 million dollars

(Source: Manitoba Budgets; FIPPA; Public Accounts)

Pallister’s Wait Times Task Force Report said if Pallister closed the Seven Oaks and Concordia Emergency Rooms, St. Boniface Hospital “does not currently have inpatient capacity and may not have the flow metrics or culture necessary to safely accommodate these increased numbers” (page 152).

Pallister’s rushed plan for ER closures is putting patient care at risk. Instead he decided to cut health care. We know he’ll do it again if he gets the chance.