The government promises to hire more nurses
By Diego Flammini
Manitobans now have a sense of which items the provincial government will prioritize under new Premier Heather Stefanson.
Healthcare will be a focal point for the Manitoba government going forward, starting with creating a task force of doctors, nurses and other professionals.
This group will help determine how to clear surgery backlogs brought on by the pandemic.
Another healthcare item on the agenda is the number of available nurses as the province has come to rely on contract nurses to fill in shortage gaps.
Agency nurses in Manitoba worked 181,378 hours in the 2017-18 fiscal year. In 2020-21, that number grew to 368,775 hours, CBC reported in September.
To address this, the provincial government wants to create 400 new positions and has entered into an agreement with a post-secondary institution.
“We have entered into a contribution agreement with University College of the North to deliver a one-time, two-year Diploma Practical Nursing training program for up to 20 students in Thompson,” the throne speech says. “The Northern Health Region communicated a commitment to hire every graduate upon successful completion of training in 2022-23.”
Reforms on rural healthcare will also be re-examined.
Other throne speech highlights include:
- Implementing every recommendation of the Stevenson Review about long-term care.
- Expanding funding for family violence shelters.
- Introducing a homelessness strategy this winter.
- Implement the federal-provincial childcare agreement.
- Increased efforts to attract workers to fill labour gaps.
- Guarantee water for producers and processors to further the Manitoba Protein Advantage Strategy.
- Develop an energy policy framework focusing on opportunities to use innovative technologies.
The Manitoba government presented its throne speech the same day the federal government presented theirs.