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The Health Care Debate

On Thursday August 29 I participated in a debate on health care at the Health Sciences Centre Campus organized by the Manitoba Health Coalition.  Wab Kinew (Leader of the NDP) and James Beddome (Leader of the Green party) were also present. 
My opening remarks were:

Good evening.  Manitoba Liberals have a broad view of what is needed to improve the health of Manitobans.  We have substantive plans to address poverty and homelessness, to provide adequate early learning and child care, to address learning and behavioural issues in children, and to prevent sickness and optimize individual health including brain health. We will build a system which is patient focused, and ensure health professionals can do their job well, with high morale and without the current stress and chaos.  We will bring forward new initiatives like covering psychological services under medicare to provide a major improvement in access to mental health services. Thank you, Meegwith, Merci. 

A brief summary of my comments during the evening discussing our Liberal approach to health is below:

A Liberal government will bring stability in health by reversing certain Pallister decisions, urgently filling vacant positions and addressing the meth crisis as an emergency.  We will transition health care to be patient focused, compassionate and of higher quality.  We will phase out Shared Health and Regional Health Authorities, and change to patient based funding.  Hospitals and community organizations will manage their own operations.  The province will set standards, do  procurement and manage information networks.  Multidisciplinary province-wide specialty networks like Cancer Care, and a new Brain, mental health and addictions network will all have a prevention focus and report directly to the province.  We will transform mental health care by covering psychological therapies under medicare enabling much greater access to mental health care.  Thank you for the opportunity to share our views this evening.


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