Manitoba’s NDP promised Tuesday to hire 2,000 new nurses throughout the province.
Premier Greg Selinger made the announcement at the Helen Glass Centre for Nursing at the University of Manitoba, saying the additional hires will add to the 3,000 nurses added since the NDP formed government in 1999.
“Health care is a top priority for us just as it is a top priority for Manitobans,” Selinger said. “We have made significant progress in rebuilding our health care system after the damage done by PC cuts in the 1990s, when 1,000 nurses were fired. Now we can focus on preparing for the future.”
Nurses will be trained over the next four years at a cost of $9 million — part of a $24 million health care training fund previously announced on the campaign trail.
The cost of the new hires will be $74 million, accounting for 1,000 replacements to fill spots left by retiring nurses.
The fund will also allow for creating 100 new nurse training seats and universities and colleges throughout Manitoba, cover the cost of tuition for nurse practitioner students who work in rural and northern communities after training, and establish a PhD in nursing program at the U of M.
The Manitoba Nurses Union supports the move, saying the plan will create a better work environment for nurses.
UPDATE: Selinger also announced his government would build a new ambulance station in Ile-des-Chenes to serve the communities of Lorette, Grande Pointe, St. Adolphe and Niverville. The station would cost $750,000 to build and $500,000 a year to staff and operate, including the cost of leasing a new ambulance.