NDP Candidate Jonathan Niemczak – River Heights Electoral District

Question 1: National Pharmacare

A: If elected, will your government support a National Pharmacare progress by joining the Canadian Drug Agency?

  • Yes – but we will make Manitoba a leading voice advocating the creation of a universal national Pharmacare program that meets the needs of all Canadians and completes the unfinished work of medicare. We will work with the Federal government to lower drug costs for Manitoba families through this work.

B: If so, how would your government ensure that a National Pharmacare program will not reduce the number of prescription medicines available to patients?

  • We need a universal, national and fully public pharmacare system. Any national pharmacare program must be comprehensive in its coverage and ensure no Canadian is left worse off by a transition to a pharmacare program. Through a national program we will work together to ensure drug prices remain affordable through bulk purchasing and we will seek out generics and biosimilars wherever possible. We will also work together with Pharmacists to establish best practices to ensure affordable drug prices.


Question 2: Tobacco Control

A: If elected, will your work to develop and implement a comprehensive tobacco framework that includes public education, policy and legislation. Cessation programs, taxation and community/schools programs, as included in the Summary Areas of Improvement listed in the No Manitoban Left Behind Report?

  • We are committed to the promotion of Smoking Cessation programs in the province of Manitoba. We will transform healthcare for Manitobans, starting by appointing a Minister Responsible for Mental Health and Addictions and we will commit to a comprehensive tobacco cessation program that includes public education, policy, legislation, cessation program, taxation and community/school programs.

B: Will you work to implement a social responsibility fee on the tobacco industry similar in design to the fee required by the US FDA, with funds collected used to update programming to reduce tobacco use?

  • We advocated for the cost of tobacco to not decrease with the recent reduction in sales tax because we know this could lead to an increase in tobacco usage. We will continue to stress education and enforcement to help reduce the use of tobacco in society.


Question 3: Breast Density

A: Will you and your party commit to notifying ALL women about their breast density in their mammogram results letter?

  • We’ve seen the science and we know how important breast density is to early detection. The NDP supports notifying all women of their breast density in their mammogram results. We believe that sharing breast density results directly with all women will better inform and support Manitobans in monitoring their breast health and their breast screening results. We believe that better access to breast density information is an important step for women’s health, and we support empowering women to manage their own health and have informed conversations with their care providers.

B: Will you and your party commit to raising public awareness and education on breast density?

  • We would fully commit to work with public advocacy groups to raise public awareness on this important issue of breast density.


Question 4: Palliative Care

A: If elected, will you support providing specific dollars to support organizations and healthcare teams in implementing palliative care programming, including increasing the number of residential hospice care beds in the province?

  • We are committed to improving palliative care in the province of Manitoba with better training for healthcare professionals and by developing a new province-wide palliative care strategy. We know end of life care requires the training, support and attention of all parts of the medical system and will work with front line professionals to develop best practices, training and connections between care providers to ensure patients receive the best palliative care possible. We will also improve home care services for patients who may be also receiving palliative care as well.

B: Will you support increasing the number of healthcare providers and services that focus on palliative care in the community and rural settings?

  • The development of a palliative care strategy would be comprehensive. It would take into consideration how palliative care is performed in Manitoba with equal attention given to services that focus on palliative in the community and rural settings. It would also focus on improving of home care services for patients in rural and remote settings. We are committed to hiring more nurses, nurse practitioners and front line health care providers to ensure patients receive appropriate palliative care and families have the supports they need.

C: Will you support legislating changes to allow patients simultaneous access to both the Palliative Care Drug Access Program and the Home Cancer Drug program to allow seamless transition at end of life?

  • We will work with care providers and policy makers to ensure there is a seamless transition between the Home Cancer Drug Program and the Palliative Care Drug Access Program for patients.


Question 5: Manitoba All-Party Cancer Caucus

If elected as MLA, would you be interested in serving on the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network’s Manitoba All-party Cancer Caucus?

  • Yes, if elected, I would be interested in serving on the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network’s Manitoba All-party Cancer caucus.