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Rally held to draw attention to problems in Manitoba home-care sector

WINNIPEG — Home-care workers and members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union have rallied outside the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's head office to raise awareness about what they say is a growing crisis in the province's home-care sector.

Workers say the minimum guidelines for completing tasks have been reduced, putting home-care patients at risk.

The rally comes one day after Manitoba's auditor general released 28 recommendations to improve the home-care system.

The audit found the WRHA and Southern Health need to pay more attention to timeliness and reliability of services.

It went on to say unaddressed, the well-being of clients could be jeopardized.

The report also found workers received wages for time not matched to home care client's needs, while at the same time client visits were cancelled because staff were unavailable.

Winnipegger Lisa Tarko, 57, said she gets frustrated and upset with her home-care service.

She lives with a rare and severe form of asthma and requires a worker to help her every morning to put in her compression stockings.

Tarko said the program needs improvement as the aging population will only need more and more of these types of services.

The WRHA said it is “aware of the union's concerns, and the issues they are raising are all being discussed at the bargaining table.”

The health minister’s office also issued a statement saying they "respect and have confidence in the collective bargaining process to achieve a settlement. We know there are issues that have been identified by workers."

(CTV Winnipeg)

The Canadian Press

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