Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/3/2016 (1568 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister announced a cut in Brandon yesterday, promising to reduce ambulance fees in the province by half in his first year, if elected.
Standing near the Brandon No. 1 Fire Hall, Pallister said Manitobans are paying too much in ambulance fees.
"Seniors and other patients needing care should expect a paramedic at their door, not a $500 bill in the mail," said Pallister, who was introduced by Brandon East candidate Len Isleifson.
"That’s just wrong."
Pallister said Manitoba has the highest fees in the country, referencing a CBC "Marketplace" story from February that states "ambulance fees range from $45 in Ontario to more than $500 in parts of Manitoba."
Prairie Mountain Health has the highest flat rate in Canada at $530, a Tory press release said.
"It’s unacceptable," Pallister said.
Pallister was joined by incumbent Progressive Conservative candidates Reg Helwer (Brandon West), Doyle Piwniuk (Arthur-Virden) and Blaine Pedersen (Midland), as well as NDP incumbent Drew Caldwell (Brandon East).
Pallister said the NDP has created a two-tier health-care system in Manitoba — those who can afford ambulance bills and those who cannot.
The Tories have heard reports from seniors who have chosen to walk to ERs and rural families who have chosen to take their family members to the hospital in order to avoid bills, according to Pallister.
"We have to get these costs down and improve health-care access for all," he said.
Earlier in the day, Pallister said it would cost approximately $11 million to reduce fees by 50 per cent for everyone.
On Thursday, Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari said a Liberal government will spend at least $1.5 million a year to provide free ambulance service for seniors making less than $20,000 a year.
Pallister called that system "three-tiered" health care — a tier that’s free for a small group, while some can afford it and others cannot.
He said the Tories will roll out more health-care announcements as the campaign progresses.
His trip to Westman included stops in Dauphin and Swan River later in the day. Those two constituencies, along with Brandon East, are considered the primary battlegrounds in Westman.
"They’re really important constituencies and what we need is a government that cares about the whole province and demonstrates better ideas, and implements those ideas," Pallister said.
» Twitter: @CharlesTweed
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