Truckers deserve same health service as all other Manitobans: association

Some truck drivers have been stigmatized because of their jobs during the pandemic, says the director of the Manitoba Trucking Association. Jeff Martin / Global News

Some Manitoba truckers say they’re being turned away when it comes to getting medical service because of COVID-19 fears.

Terry Shaw, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association, told 680 CJOB some truckers have even been turned away when they show up to get a flu shot.

“The nature of their work takes them out of the province routinely. They can’t self-isolate for 14 days… and Manitobans don’t want them to do that,” said Shaw. “It would shut down our economy, it would shut down our industry.

“If they’re a truck driver and they’re non-symptomatic, you need to provide them with the same services you would any other Manitoban.”

Terry Shaw, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association. Kevin Hirschfield/Global News

Shaw said people need to remember that truckers are essential workers — transporting vital goods that are needed during the pandemic.

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Under Manitoba’s current restrictions, people transporting goods aren’t required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period.

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“Truck drivers are Manitobans first and foremost, just like everybody else,” he said.

“Their work takes them out of the province, but their work also comes with a whole set of health and safety protocols that they have been following diligently.

“They have the same expectation all Manitobans do, which is when they come home, they’re going to be able to access all the services they need, including health-care services.”

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Manitoba’s chief public health official, Dr. Brent Roussin, commented on Thursday about the difficulties some essential workers are facing.

Read more: More oversight needed in light of auditor general’s report, say Manitoba truckers

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“It’s disappointing to hear of the recent medical services, again, being denied to individuals because of their line of work,” Roussin said.

“We can’t accept this. We know this virus will be here for the foreseeable future, so we can’t deny care to people based on their occupation. We need to live with this virus and deal with it.

“Often, the people who are being denied care are providing tremendous services to Manitobans. So please, we can’t stigmatize people. We can’t deny access to care to people based on their line of work.”

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