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Our Health Care Check Up - Public Meeting in Grandview

February 22, I was in Grandview for our public consultations on the status of Health Care in Manitoba.  There is a major concern over Health Care in Manitoba at the moment, in part because the Pallister PCs have been making major changes and these are causing concern, uncertainty and low morale within the health care system.

In each of our public meetings as part of our effort to see where health care is at, we asked three questions.  1) What is working well?   This question is important because the starting place for improving our health care system is understanding what is working well.   Items that fall in this category need to be supported and indeed built upon and used as models of good care to improve the system. 2) What is not working?   This is an important question because it identifies where there are problems which need to be understood and addressed to improve the system. 3) Where do we need to invest? This is a critical question because it identifies areas which will need additional funding in order to correct the deficiency.

There was a good turnout for our Grandview meeting. People who came were engaged and were able to identify items in each of the three categories.  A brief mention of some of these items is below:  It is not exhaustive.  A more complete report will come when we have finished out public meetings;

What is working well?
- There is an exceptional health care team in Grandview which provides high quality care.  The infrastructure includes a well-designed hospital, telehealth capabilities, an ambulance station, a personal care home and a landing spot for the STARS ambulance in Grandview.   There are 4 physicians, nurses, a nurse practitioner, licensed practical nurses, paramedics and a pharmacist who work closely together as part of health team Grandview.
- There is an excellent cooperative partnership between the Grandview Health Team and health professionals and people at Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation.
What is not working?
- The proposal to terminate the ambulance service in Grandview would break up the current excellent health team in Grandview and would be a disaster for the community, and for local health care.
- Specialists in Winnipeg are not as accessible on telehealth as they need to be.
- Excessive bureaucracy in Dauphin - for example when a lightbulb needs to be changed the process is cumbersome.
- Changes to the provision of drugs to the local personal care home have been made by the Pallister PCs which will now move to a Winnipeg based, ordering and delivery approach instead of one which involves the local pharmacist with problems related to delays, knowledge of the local situation and knowledge of local people in the personal care home.  The change will essentially cut the local pharmacist out of the local health care team for many who need medications.
- The excessive use of nurse locums in the RHA instead of training and using local nurses.

Where do we need to invest to improve our health care system? 
In upgrading the Grandview ambulance service instead of destroying it.
- In improving video conferencing and access to specialists
- In providing local doctors access to Cancer Care medical records for Grandview patients
- In ensuring provincial standards can be adapted to local conditions.


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