To you who work in health care in Manitoba,

We want to first thank you for the years of dedication and care you have provided to Manitobans. During one of the most difficult times to work in health care, you’ve taken wonderful care of us and our loved ones. Now, it’s time for us to take better care of you.

Leading a team to fix health care is a job we will give our all to, because we know that each of you have done the same. You have kept our health care system running, and you deserve to know that we have your back.

For too many years, health care staff in Manitoba have been overworked, underpaid and disregarded. We write this letter as a commitment to you that help is on the way.

As the Premier, and the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care, it is our promise to you that we will work with you, every step of the way to deliver better care for people.

Over the last few years, we have connected with you and your colleagues around the province – in local clinics, at hospital rallies, on picket lines, on your doorsteps and over coffee at kitchen tables. Every one of your stories has informed our approach to fixing health care. We have also drawn on our personal experiences — most notably Minister Asagwara’s work as a psychiatric nurse in Manitoba.

What we’ve heard from you was an eagerness to see change. We know for many of you, it can’t come soon enough. We share that eagerness, and our team is already getting to work. We ask for your patience as we begin the important work of governing our province together. It took years to damage the health care system in our province, and it will take years to repair it. We ask that you keep working on the front lines while we bring more help to you at the bedside and change to make your life better.

Here are the steps our government will take, and have already begun to make progress on, to improve life for front line staff and deliver the best quality care to patients:

  • We will focus on changing the culture in health care so that solutions from the bed side make their way up the chain of command, and on staffing up the system;
  • We will work to end mandatory overtime to ensure you have real work-life balance and receive the support you need to success in the profession you trained for;
  • We will hold management accountable for measurable goals in improving our health care system and ensure staff on the front lines are given the respect they deserve for the good work they do; and
  • We will provide more training opportunities and incentives to welcome more Manitobans into the health care workforce and reduce the pressure that the staffing crisis has placed on your shoulders.

Along the way, we want to keep hearing from you – we want each of you to feel welcome to share your perspective and solutions from the front lines with our government.

No matter where in the province and health system you work, your voice is important. Your contributions are essential to our project for health care.

It is with the greatest humility and respect that our government is reaching our hands out to you, the people who care for Manitobans, to join us in making health care better.

With your help, we can provide Manitobans with access to quality health care closer to home.

With your knowledge, we can deliver innovative treatments while building the health system of the future.

With your compassion, we can ensure that people from all walks of life receive the dignity and high-quality care they deserve.

We know that we can accomplish this goal, because we can do difficult things when we do them together.