Ottawa, ON – Ted Falk, Member of Parliament for Provencher, pressed the Liberal government in Question Period today to remove the barrier preventing residents of the RM of Piney and Buffalo Point First Nation from attending their necessary medical appointments in the United States.
In order to ensure remote southeast Manitoba residents have access to the health care services they need, the Government of Manitoba has an agreement with health care providers in Roseau and Warroad, Minnesota to provide primary and emergency care.
In the initial months of the Canada-US border closures to non-essential travel, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) recognized access to medical services as essential. This ensured individuals who needed to leave and re-enter Canada in order to receive medical care or obtain prescription medication could do so without being forced to self-isolate for 14-days upon return. This changed in mid-October when the CBSA began informing individuals that such trips would result in a quarantine order.
“Many residents from the RM of Piney and Buffalo Point have contacted my office to express alarm that access to health care is no longer being treated as essential at the border,” said Falk. “The Liberal government has cracked down on families simply trying to see their family doctors and seniors looking to pick up their prescription refills.”
Falk reached out to the Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, and the Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair, to seek a swift resolution when the issue first arose in October. Five weeks later, neither minister has moved to resolve the issue.
“Residents aren’t asking the government to throw open the borders,” said Falk. “They’re just asking for the ability to visit their doctors and pick up their prescriptions.”
“This is about ensuring that those living in more remote areas can still access health care without barriers,” Falk added. “It’s long past time for the Liberals to make this right.”