Nurses Speak out Against Cuts to Women’s Health Services
WINNIPEG, MB. – The Manitoba Nurses Union is speaking out against recent frontline health care cuts that will disproportionally affect Manitoba women, including the discontinuation of lactation consultation services at Health Sciences Centre, and the recent decision to shut down the Mature Women’s Health Centre at Victoria Hospital.
“The number of front line healthcare cuts we’re seeing across the board is staggering” said MNU President Sandi Mowat. “The cuts to women’s health services are particularly disturbing. They’re vital, specialized services that women depend on. We should be improving access to reproductive and post-partum care, not reducing it.”
Lactation consultants provide necessary breastfeeding and post-partum care to the benefit of mothers and new babies. Beyond clinical care, they offer education and emotional support during a critical development period that can be overwhelming and exhausting for mothers.
“Mothers depend on lactation consultants. These nurses have specialized training in postpartum care,” said Mowat. “The decision to cut this service puts mothers and their newborns at risk.”
The Mature Women’s Health Centre sees 5,000 patients a year and receives 3,000 calls. They deal with gynecological issues, menopause transition and offer alternatives to hysterectomies. This program also provides services to women between the ages of 20 to 40 who are experiencing unique, premature gynecological issues.
“Many women who are referred to the Mature Women’s Health Centre are dealing with serious and complex health issues,” said Mowat. “As demographics shift in our province, demand for these services can be expected to increase. Closing this centre just doesn’t make sense.”
MNU received notice that the Mature Women’s Health Centre will likely close October 10, but the timeframe for the discontinuation of lactation consultation at HSC is unclear.
“Nurses across the province are very concerned. The WRHA and the Manitoba government need to press the pause button. They need to consider the effect that these hasty cuts will have on women and children. This is not what Manitobans voted for.”