The President of the AMBM and Reeve of the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie, Mr. Ivan Normandeau, the Mayor of the Town of Sainte-Anne, Mr. Yvan St. Vincent, the Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Sainte-Anne, Mr. Richard Pelletier, the Mayor of the Rural Municipality of Taché, Mr. Armand Poirier, and the Deputy Reeve of the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie, Mr. Laurent Tétrault, have issued this joint statement calling on the Manitoba government to work in partnership to obtain a regional designation for Hôpital Ste-Anne Hospital:

Since the winter of 2024, the AMBM and its four bilingual member municipalities have been calling on the Manitoba government to work together to obtain a regional designation for Hôpital Ste-Anne Hospital, in order to strengthen its capacity, ensuring its sustainability and future for the benefit of the regional population. This initiative has the support of all 16 bilingual municipalities in Manitoba.

Founded in 1954, Hôpital Ste-Anne Hospital is recognized as an acute-care community hospital, a training center for family medicine residents, and a designated bilingual health care facility.

Since its beginnings, the facility has operated with a regional approach (without the official designation), thanks to an alliance between the municipalities of the region: the Town of Sainte-Anne, the Rural Municipality of Sainte-Anne, the Rural Municipality of Taché, the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie and the Rural Municipality of Reynolds.

The region’s municipalities experienced average population growth of 14.8% between 2016 and 2021, with a notable increase of 36.8% for the Town of Sainte-Anne over the same period.

While this new demographic has created an increased demand for healthcare, Hôpital Ste-Anne Hospital is facing a significant shortage of bilingual healthcare professionals, limiting its hours of operation.

Limited access to healthcare compromises continuity of care, increases waiting times, creates increased pressure on emergency departments and affects the morale of existing staff, in addition to harming local health and social services establishments that rely on a hospital with infrastructure and capacity to meet the needs of the local and regional population.

Municipal authorities believe that such a situation will inevitably lead to a public health crisis, with serious economic consequences for the community in terms of health costs, lost productivity and difficulty in attracting new residents.

By becoming a regional hospital rather than a community hospital, the facility would be able to offer more competitive salaries, enabling it to recruit and retain skilled bilingual healthcare professionals. At the same time, it would broaden its range of specialized services, reception capacity, emergency services and care programs, in order to harmonize and complement the regional health care offer, and better distribute the pressure on emergency services on a macro scale.

Elected in October 2023, the provincial NDP government has repeatedly expressed its firm intention to invest in improving health care in Manitoba, particularly in rural areas. In its Speech from the Throne on November 21st, 2023, it recognized Manitoba municipalities as key partners in the health and economic growth sectors.

There’s no doubt that all the parties involved share a common vision of healthcare, and in particular of the three key steps towards a better healthcare system based on front-line professionals, as expressed by the government directly: retention, recruitment and resilience. To date, dialogue with provincial authorities has been productive and positive. We have faith in the government’s determination to listen to the experts and make the necessary improvements to move towards granting the facility a regional designation in order to optimize and sustain access to quality healthcare in the region.

As Premier Kinew often illustrates, the economic horse bears the responsibility of pulling the social cart. To do this, the path must be in good condition. He uses the analogy of the pathway to refer to the health sector, which is the very foundation of all social and economic success. Today, we believe that the priority issue of Hôpital Ste-Anne Hospital offers us an unprecedented opportunity to join forces and team up to modernize the path that will lead us to build more resilient, attractive and prosperous communities.

Information: Office of the Chief Executive Officer (O-CEO), 204-289-4077, [email protected].

AMBM and its members call for regional designation of Hôpital Ste-Anne Hospital