Despite telling Manitobans the Wait Time Reduction Task Force would submit its report by June 30 of this year, the Pallister government has kept its work secret, said NDP Health Critic Matt Wiebe, who today urged the health minister to immediately make its findings and recommendations public.
“The health minister was months late in launching this supposed essential task force, and now there is only silence – another report hidden,” said Wiebe. “This government has developed a pattern of secrecy around publicly funded studies such as the KPMG reviews. In March, the Government claimed it would not make a decision on the installation of an MRI for the people of Dauphin until the Wait Times report was submitted. How much longer will thousands of Manitobans need to wait?”
The Pallister government has spent millions on reports it is hiding from the public. The Wait Time Reduction Task Force was launched on Dec. 30 of 2016 under the guidance of former Saskatchewan MLA Wayne Elhard with an estimated cost of $170,000. The two KPMG studies cost approximately $740,000 each. Yet Premier Pallister publically stated on July 28, 2016: “I really don’t like it, when governments take money from people, hand it to other people, and then put in the agreement that I can’t talk about it”.
“The premier promised that 97 per cent of the fiscal performance audit would be made public,” Wiebe pointed out. “A lot of money has gone into these reports and Manitobans deserve to know what’s in them – especially as the government makes the deepest cuts to our health care system and health care professionals in a generation. The Minister needs to tell Manitobans on what day they will see the report they paid for.”