July 14, 2019 1:36 pm

Manitoba Liberals unveil health-care plan

Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont speaks to media outside the legislature after the provincial throne speech was read at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, Tuesday, November 21, 2017. Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont says he will not commit to releasing a fully costed election platform that would spell out how he would pay for his promises. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

John Woods/The Canadian Press

The Manitoba Liberal party has announced its plan to improve health-care access around the province.

At a press conference outside Seven Oaks Hospital on Sunday morning, Liberal leader Dougald Lamont said the new system will merge all regional health authorities with Manitoba Health. Lamont said this will return control and decision-making back to the local level across the province.

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“We’re going to restore accountability to the system and work together with doctors, nurses and health care experts to rebuild our health-care system,” Lamont said.

According to the Liberals, hospitals would be able to choose to keep emergency rooms open using the model. Lamont added that the goal of this is not to reduce spending, but to improve accountability in the health-care system.

The Liberals would also ease the current government’s controls on health spending and hiring, a press release said.

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“The PCs have put accountants in charge of our health-care system. Manitoba Liberals will build a system that puts patients first, restores morale among health workers, and improves the quality of care,” said Lamont.

The Liberals say their proposed changes would be cost-neutral.

In a statement to Global News, Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew says Lamont should commit to keeping the ERs open instead of leaving it up to the hospitals.

“It is concerning the Liberal leader has failed to commit to reopening the emergency rooms Pallister closed,” Kinew said in a statement. “These ERs needs to stay open and the NDP is the only party committed to doing that.”

The 2019 Manitoba General Election is scheduled for September 10.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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