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Thumbs up…to the Manitoba government, for stopping private hospitals from taking root in the province. The government has passed a law forbidding overnight stays in private health clinics. Amendments to the province’s Health Services Insurance Act clarify the terms and conditions under which private surgical facilities can operate in the province, and close a loophole left open by the previous government. The amendments will stop profit-making clinics from draining the Medicare system by preventing them from siphoning off the most lucrative surgical procedures and leaving the public system to deal with the most costly and complicated procedures.

Thumbs up…to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the Manitoba government, for converting the private for profit Pan Am Clinic to a not for profit clinic. Since Manitoba bought the Pan Am Clinic, the cost of cataract surgery has been reduced from $1,000 to $700 per procedure.

Thumbs up…to the Manitoba government, for passing a law requiring a province-wide referendum before a future government could consider privatizing the publicly-owned provincial electrical utility, Manitoba Hydro.

Thumbs up…to the City of Winnipeg, for contracting in work at three arenas, as well as turf maintenance work at five parks. The work had been contracted out by a previous city council.

Thumbs up…to the Manitoba government, for its moves to preserve access to post-secondary education. Tuition fees in the province have been frozen for the past two years. In 2000, the provincial government also funded a 10 per cent tuition fee reduction.