Health care in our communities

We need more healthcare services in our communities.

That is what I hear from people when I visit communities throughout our region. Far too often people have to leave their community for the most basic medical services.

One of the best initiatives in recent years was by the previous NDP provincial government to move dialysis on reserves like Berens River. This has allowed people to stay in their own community to receive this life-saving medical treatment.

It’s a model that should be expanded to other communities but sadly now the provincial government has literally ripped out machines from Berens River. 

I rose in the House of Commons during Question Period to call on the federal minister to act to save this service.  The fact that dialysis units were ripped out of Berens River, forcing patients to travel to Winnipeg for care is unacceptable. As we’ve seen, when sick parents are forced to travel long distance for care it has a dramatic impact on their lives.

While we know that the provincial government made the initial investment, as well as the decision to remove these machines, the Federal government has a duty of care towards First Nations. 

I asked what, if any, steps the government has taken to ensure that the people of Berens River will continue to have access to dialysis machines.

It’s time to expand community based medical services, particularly dialysis. We should not be removing the machines that are already in communities.

I will be continuing to speak out on behalf of Berens River and comunities throughout our region on this critical issue.