Allied Health Professionals are always there for us. They have stood strong in the face of upheaval in health care. Recent cuts, closures and consolidations have changed the way they work, adding new pressures to an already tough job, and then the pandemic came. Allied Health Professionals are there for Manitobans every day, and they need our support, too.
Health care needs more than doctors and nurses – without Allied Health, hospitals close and the services we rely on grind to a halt. The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals, or MAHCP, represents more than 6,500 Allied Health members across 190 professional, technical and paramedical health care disciplines. These dedicated Allied Health Professionals work in health care settings across the province making sure Manitobans get the care they need, from diagnostics to therapeutics, from pharmacy to emergency medical services, and everything in between. Manitobans depend on Allied Health, and Allied Health delivers.
Manitoba’s approach to health care has taken a wrong turn. Underfunding of Allied Health services is causing big problems, including skyrocketing wait times for diagnostic services like CT scans and MRIs, and Manitobans waiting in lines that literally stretch around the block to get simple lab tests. Instead of investing in the Allied Health services and people that Manitoba families count on, we’ve seen emergency rooms and ICUs close and important outpatient services eliminated. Critical staffing shortages are causing rural labs and emergency rooms to shut down, forcing Manitobans to travel further for the care they need. Allied Health Professionals continue to work as hard as they can for Manitobans, but they’re stretched too thin.
Allied Health Professionals deserve the support of everyday Manitobans, and during the COVID-19 pandemic they’ve been feeling that support. But they also need government decision makers to have their backs, and that’s not happening. Instead, Allied Health continues to be squeezed and cut. The dedicated professionals that care for us are being asked to do more with less. At the same time, their wages have been frozen for over three years and the Manitoba Government has refused to negotiate with them. The unconstitutional wage freeze legislation has now been overturned. It’s time for Allied Health professionals to see a fair deal and be recognized for the vital role they play. Health care doesn’t happen without Allied Health.
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