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The Implementation Plan for changes to Manitoba's mental health and addictions approach, including prevention, is delayed until the fall of 2018

Thursday June 21, I asked the Minister of Health in the Manitoba Legislature about his approach to prevention of mental health and addictions issues.  In his response, the Minister said any progress will have to wait for his implementation plan in the fall.  This is very disappointing given that the Pallister government was elected in the spring of 2016, and this will be two and a half years after the election before there is even a plan to move forward.  The exchange, from Hansard, is below:  

Mr. Gerrard: There are many other areas of health care where prevention is important. One of those is in terms of mental health and addictions. And so I would ask the minister what his plans are with regard to prevention of mental health and addictions.
Mr. Goertzen: So we spoke a little bit about this a little earlier this afternoon. No question, the co‑ordination between mental health and addictions is a priority of the government. He's seen that with the release of the VIRGO report, which indicated that for many years, decades, that there's been poor co-ordination between the mental health and addictions system in Manitoba. And so I think if he's looking for our plans when it comes to those two areas, he could certainly look at the VIRGO report for guidance. We expect an implementation plan to be provided by the department in fall of this year.
Mr. Gerrard: I'm, I must say, still a little bit disappointed that the implementation plan will not come before fall of this year. That's going to be a full two and a half years after the minister became Health Minister, and progress has been taking a long time, and one would've hoped for more quicker action on something that's as important as that.

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