Skip to main content

Problems with the vaccine rollout in Manitoba continue

 On Thursday April 8, I asked in Question Period about the delays in vaccinations and the problems which are occurring with the process of delivering vaccinations.  As Tom Broadbeck  would point out in the Winnipeg Free Press six days later on April 14, with an inventory of 118,318 doses, "There are at least 100,000 Manitobans who should have been immunized  by now who aren't.  There  is no excuse for this.  Manitoba's vaccine rollout has gone from utter incompetence to gross negligence." My questions  and the responses from the Minister of Health and the Premier are below: 

COVID‑19 Vaccine Sites
Accommodations for Seniors

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, Liberals were contacted today by a Manitoban who tried to book a vaccine appointment for her mother, who has Alzheimer's.

      When she called to book the appointment, she was told she couldn't accompany her mother, that a health-care aide would do it if–if–one was available, but that the aide might not be able to stay with her and return her mother, who has Alzheimer's, back to her outside. So the appointment wasn't booked.

      When she asked assistance for people with disabilities like Alzheimer's, she was told there's a wheelchair ramp.

      I ask the Premier: Why do the operators booking vaccine appointments expect seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's to navigate the supersite alone?

Hon. Heather Stefanson (Minister of Health and Seniors Care): Madam Speaker, I thank the member for bringing this issue to the floor of the Legislature, I guess. I would prefer that he would bring it to my office so we can actually find a solution for this to ensure that this individual gets the vaccine that they need.

      Madam Speaker, I think it's very important when these issues come forward that we can work together. This is not a time to play politics with this on the floor of the Legislature. This is a very important issue. I suggest the member bring it to my office and we will work with this individual to ensure that this doesn't happen further, that–or, that they get their appointment and that this doesn't happen to anyone else out there.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a supplementary question.

Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, but these are not just individual cases for constituents, these are systemic issues.

      Liberals had another upsetting call from a constituent, an 80-year-old senior who faced severe difficulties when going to the Winnipeg Convention Centre supersite. She went to the centre with her 87‑year-old husband. They were told their daughter couldn't accompany them. They stood in line for three hours.

      She has bad knees, but the chairs inside had no armrests, so she couldn't lift herself to standing. She doesn't want anybody to go through this sort of thing again.

      Can the Premier make sure by the end of today–today–by the end of today, that it won't happen again?

Mrs. Stefanson: Well, Madam Speaker, I'm sorry for this individual and the experience that they've had. Again, if the member brings it to my office, we would be happy to deal with this.

      The member mentions just a couple of cases here, Madam Speaker. This is–and then he says that this is a systemic issue. This is–these are individual cases that should be dealt with. Very important to ensure that these individuals get the vaccines that they need, and we'll continue to work with all Manitobans towards ensuring that those who are eligible get the vaccine as soon as possible.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a final supplementary.

Request for Military Assistance

Mr. Gerrard: Yes, Madam Speaker, how did anyone involved in the Premier's supersite facility ever think it was acceptable to force people in their 80s to stand for three hours in line?

      There are hiring shortages, while half-trained, half-time workers are staffing critical roles, while people with real expertise are sitting at home waiting to be called. For more than a year, it has never been clear who's been in charge of the pandemic response as fiasco after tragic fiasco rolls out. It's been 390 days of amateur hour.

      The former head of emergency measures says it's time to bring in the army. Manitoba Liberals agree.

      Does the Premier agree as well? Will he bring in the army?

Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): Well, Madam Speaker, we're going to bring in the army, and I think we should have done it to get vaccines in this country a lot sooner than has been the case.

      I would have to say to the member that what is clear here is that the service that was offered to the two individuals he cited was not properly delivered, and what's clear here is that what is at least as improper is his attempt, through histrionic projections onto the floor of the Legislature, to score cheap political points on the backs of people who need better health care.

      So we'll focus on helping the people get better health care, and I hope in future he focuses on the same thing.


Popular posts from this blog

Comparison between Manitoba and South Dakota shows dramatic impact of Physical Distancing

Manitoba implemented physical distancing measures in mid-March.  South Dakota has still not made physical distancing mandatory.   The result is a dramatic difference in the incidence of covid-19 viral infections between the two jurisdictions.   This graph shows the number of people with Covid-19 infections from March 27 to April 14.  Manitoba ( red line )  started leveling off about April 4 and has seen only a small increase in Covid-19 infections since then.   South Dakota ( blue line )   has seen a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections since April 4.  Those who are skeptical of the impact of physical distancing in Manitoba should look at this graph! Data are from the Johns Hopkins daily tabulations

Manitoba Liberal accomplishments

  Examples of Manitoba Liberal accomplishments in the last three years Ensured that 2,000 Manitoba fishers were able to earn a living in 2020   (To see the full story click on this link ). Introduced a bill that includes retired teachers on the Pension Investment Board which governs their pension investments. Introduced amendments to ensure school aged children are included in childcare and early childhood education plans moving forward. Called for improvements in the management of the COVID pandemic: ·          We called for attention to personal care homes even before there was a single case in a personal care home. ·            We called for a rapid response team to address outbreaks in personal care homes months before the PCs acted.  ·          We called for a science-based approach to preparing schools to   improve ventilation and humidity long before the PCs acted. Helped hundreds of individuals with issues during the pandemic including those on social assistance

We need a more precise and detailed provincial plan to address the coronoavirus - Covid-19

With increasing evidence that the coronavirus Covid-19 is spreading globally, it is important that Manitoba have a clear plan to deal with a number of critical issues.  Having a clear plan will reduce people's anxiety and allow people to better plan individually.  So far the Pallister government either has not fully planned for Covid-19, or it has not released its plan.  We put out a press release this morning calling for the release of such a clear plan by the province.  Manitoba Liberals: The Time for a Coronavirus Plan is Now WINNIPEG – With new coronavirus cases emerging in South Korea, Italy and elsewhere around the world, Manitoba Liberals say the Manitoba Government needs to show they are ready with a plan to ensure Manitobans stay as safe as possible in the likely case that the virus reaches Manitoba. The virus has been spreading around the world, with 82,000 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths. While it started in China, there have been recent outbreaks in South Kore