It is a sad day in the Manitoba Legislature when a person asks a simple question which falls under the Premier's mandate and he will not take responsibility
Tuesday October 8, I asked the Premier what he will do to address the high number of falls being experienced by individuals in Manitoba's personal care homes. I cited specifically the case of Heather Houston's father who had 22 separate falls in three different health care institutions in Winnipeg. Instead of taking the responsibility which is his, he tried to divert the responsibility to the federal government, and he tried to suggest I was being abusive in asking the question. It is not the federal government's responsibility to make sure personal care homes are run in a way that residents are not falling. It is the Premier and the Minister of Health's responsibility. Even if one were to argue that the federal government has a role in funding health care, the Premier is not off the hook because he has been receiving big increases in health care funding from the federal government and he has not been using the money on health care and he has not been using the money budgeted for health care effectively to provide the quality of services that Manitobans need. My question and the Premier's response is below.
Personal-Care Homes - Accidental Fall Prevention
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, Heather Houston's father had 22 falls while he was at St. Boniface Hospital, Parkview Place and Middlechurch personal-care homes. This is an extraordinary number of falls. My sense is that the reason for this many falls is that more staffing is needed, as is more training specific to prevention of falls.
Ideally, a person like Heather's father should be able to be in these institutions without a single fall.
I ask the minister: What is he going to do to eliminate such accidental falls in Manitoba's health-care facilities?
Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): Here we go again, Madam Speaker, with a shameful abuse of a situation that calls for higher thinking.
I would ask the members opposite to understand, in the Liberal caucus, that we have had premiers all across this country, regardless of political stripe–Liberal premiers, New Democratic premiers, Conservative premiers, too–have asked repeatedly for a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss health-care funding.
The No. 1 priority for Canadians, and we can't get a meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada–four years in a row, back to back to back to back.
Madam Speaker, part of the reason that this Chamber has not got unanimous support for such a measure used to be that we had two independent members here, but we don't anymore. And now we simply mean–we simply need the Liberal caucus to join with the NDP and the PCs and ask for a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss health-care funding so we can move forward together in a partnership to strengthen the quality of care for all Manitobans in the future.