Steinbach MLA and Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says his Progressive Conservative government remains committed to adding 1,200 personal care home beds in the coming years. He made the comment after announcing over $1 billion in cuts last week to construction projects in the health sector that had been announced by the former NDP government. Goertzen says the mandate from the Premier to add personal care home beds has not changed.
"I've not heard different so my understanding, at this point at least, is that that mandate hasn't changed and I'm proceeding on that basis."
He adds a proposed expansion at Rest Haven in Steinbach is one of the projects that is under consideration.
"I don't know that I'm at liberty to speak to every individual proposal but certainly Rest Haven has brought forward a proposal and I think there's good consideration happening around that and other proposals as well."
Goertzen says part of the Premier Brian Pallister's mandate on personal care home beds was to build new facilities at a cost of $133,000 per bed, substantially less than the cost until now.
"Initially, when a lot of these groups saw the mandate of $133,000 per bed they said, you know, we don't think this is achievable. But, over the last number of months, there have certainly been some who have come and said, you know what, actually we're there or we're pretty close. So, sometimes, when you just simply present people with a challenge, they rise up to that challenge and they find creative ways to do things."
He did not indicate when the government will proceed with these projects.