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Manitoba needs a province-wide health preventative services plan

The Pallister government recently brought in a Shared Health plan which includes a clinical services plan, but forgot to include the critically needed health preventative services plan.    Like the NDP the Pallister government is putting prevention on the back burner.  I asked about this on Thursday June 21 in the Legislature.   My comments and the Minister's comments are below.  As you will see the Minister sadly, has the same approach the NDP had and that is that preventive services are just a tiny part of clinical services.   This is wrong.  A province-wide preventative services plan is essential. 

Mr. Gerrard: I raised the issue yesterday, and I would like to  follow this up that he  [the Minister] has got in his transformation documents some significant material which deals with what the role of Shared Health is and what it will do. And it's, you know, well written and well put together. And it provides for the development of a clinical services plan, and this is a good concept, a province-wide clinical services plan, but in my view, there needs to be also a province-wide prevention services plan that can focus on prevention services province-wide and make sure that these are also adequately attended to.
      So I would ask the minister, you know, why he didn't include the development of a preventive services plan in the outline he provided for the activities that Shared Health will be responsible for.
Mr. Goertzen: In terms of the member's question on the clinical services plan and how that relates to a preventative services plan, I'm not in disagreement with the member. I mean, certainly I agree that he, you know, he acknowledges that, you know, a well‑laid-out plan, and I'll certainly commend Dr. Brock Wright and his team for the work that they've done on that.
      Also recognize the member said that there had never been a clinical plan in Manitoba or at least stress the importance of it, and he's absolutely right there. We have been operating without a clinical services plan in the province of Manitoba for the history of the province of Manitoba, and that's alarming, Mr. Chairperson, but I think that this is a significant improvement.
      I have no doubt that within the planning the clinical service plan there will be a number of components, of course, that relate to preventative care and preventative action to ensure that people are using the health-care system as little as possible through some of their own actions that they can take.
      I don't doubt that it'll be a significant part of the clinical services plan. Whether that results in a separate plan at some point in the future I would, you know, sort of defer to the advice of those at Shared Health, but no doubt in the initial iteration it'll play a significant role within it.
Mr. Gerrard: I will make the point that I think it is essential to have a preventative services plan, and part of the reason for that is that when you have a prevention that is just part of a clinical services plan, then what you tend to have is the acute-care services monopolizing the attention, and the need to dedicate and focus and have effective resources used in prevention really needs there to be in a preventive services plan.

For a recent study by Dr. Herbert Emery which shows the effectiveness of preventative approaches click on this link.


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