At a press conference Tuesday morning from the Manitoba Legislative Building, the province’s new premier and health minister said they’re here to support frontline health-care workers — while also asking for patience as the government begins the process of improving the health system.
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Wab Kinew and Uzoma Asagwara said their government has sent an open letter directly to workers, saying fixing the province’s health care is a top priority, but will take time.
Kinew said plans will be unveiled in the coming weeks to address staffing issues and wait times in the most critical areas, and that under his administration, health workers should feel free to speak out about their needs — locally or system-wide — without fear of any negative impacts or ‘retribution’.
“We want to keep hearing from you,” Kinew and Asagwara said in a statement.
“We want each of you to feel welcome to share your perspective and solutions from the front lines with our government. No matter where in the province and health system you work, your voice is important. Your contributions are essential to our work on health care.”
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Workers who are no longer part of the system — due to retirement or seeking employment elsewhere — are also being asked to come back.
Asagwara said it has been made very clear by frontline workers that there has been a feeling of broken trust with the government.
“One concrete step we must take is resetting and repairing the relationship with health care workers,” the health minister said.
“It’s a very real step to take and a very important one to commit to.”
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