The mass resignation of the nurses in the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program in Manitoba is a crisis that demands immediate attention. On Tuesday, one-third of the program’s casual nurses resigned, citing a lack of resources from the Manitoba government. This is an unprecedented situation that should not be taken lightly. Nurses who work in the program are under tremendous pressure to deliver services to some of the most vulnerable people in Manitoba, and they feel that they are not getting the support they need from the province.
The Manitoba Healthcare system has been under stress for some time, even before the pandemic hit. There have been cuts, emergency room closures, and the outsourcing of patients to the United States. Manitoba’s healthcare system has seen a revolving door of Health Ministers, which has only added to the chaos and instability. This situation is not sustainable, and urgent action is needed to address the crisis.
The exodus of the SANE program is just the latest example of how the Manitoba government has failed to support its healthcare system adequately. The program provides vital services to survivors of sexual assault, and the fact that nurses are leaving in droves is a clear sign that something is seriously wrong. The government must take responsibility for this situation and provide the resources needed to ensure that the program can continue to operate effectively.
Today, the Manitoba NDP called for the resignation of P.C. Health Minister Audrey Gordon, and it is difficult finding many Manitobans to argue with their position.
“If the Health Minister cannot take responsibility for our health care system it’s time for her to resign. And if Minister Gordon won’t do it herself, the Premier needs to show leadership and ask her Health Minister to step down,” said NDP Health Care critic Uzoma Asagwara. “The Premier cannot allow her Minister to continue in this role. Manitobans expect a higher standard from their government and the Premier should demand better from her cabinet.”
There are real consequences to the collapse of the SANE program. Survivors of sexual assault can be left without prompt access to the vital services they need, and this can have long-term effects on their health and well-being. It is simply unacceptable that the government has allowed this situation to develop, and urgent action is needed to address the crisis. The consequences of inaction are simply too great to ignore.