Manitoba NDP Leader Greg Selinger is promising to set up a new patient advocate in the health-care system if he is re-elected premier.

Selinger says the appointed person would help patients and their families get answers when something goes wrong and there is a critical incident review.

He says the advocate would be independent, conduct their own investigations and report to the provincial ombudsman.

Selinger also promised new money for health-care centres, including one-third funding for the Concordia Wellness Centre in northeast Winnipeg, which the party has already announced.

He says the centre will offer fitness and clinical programming to help people stay active.

Tories attack NDP health record

The Progressive Conservatives took advantage of the NDP announcements to take a swipe at the NDP's track record on health.

"Greg Selinger went to Concordia Hospital today and took no action to fix the longest ER wait times in Canada," a press release from the Tories said.

"Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg has the longest emergency room wait times in Canada, with an average wait of seven hours. Once a patient is admitted to Concordia Hospital's ER, the time the patient spends there has sharply risen to over 46 hours under the Selinger NDP."

The Tories then proposed their own health care plan, if elected, by promising to:

  • Lower ambulance fees by half, beginning in the first year and completing it by the end of the first first term.
  • Tackle worsening wait times with an expert task force of front-line health care providers.
  • Keep more doctors practising in Manitoba through an improved physician recruitment and retention program.
  • Create 1,200 more personal care home beds with a $160-million investment.
With files from The Canadian Press