WINNIPEG, July 9, 2004 ( – The Manitoba government’s decision to fund a private abortion clinic has the owner of another private surgical centre in the province asking – what about us?  As of July 1, the province began funding the former Morgentaler abortion facility recently renamed “Jane’s clinic” after Morgentaler worked out an undisclosed deal to transfer the surgical abortion facility to ownership by a pro-abortion group.

Dwayne Venter, the general manager of Maples Surgical Centre in Winnipeg told today that while Jane’s is given public funding, the province won’t even speak to him about proposals to offer services to assist the overburdened hospital system.  “The fact is that our doors are open to partner with the provincial government, we have made proposals to them but they are not willing even to entertain conversations with us.”

In the lead-up to the funding of Jane’s clinic, two women launched a court case complaining that they had to wait to have their babies killed and were then forced to pay at the Jane’s abortuary.  There was reportedly a six week waiting list at the hospital compared to less than a week at the private abortion outlet, which did 370 of Manitoba’s 3,000 abortions last year.  However, an argument based on wait times is more compelling regarding Maples.  Maples has three operating theaters and offers a broad range of procedures in plastic surgery, orthopaedic surgery, cataract surgery, pain management, as well as pediatric dentistry.  Venter told that he had attempted to ease the province’s horrendous backlog of pediatric dental patients.  Venter said that some 1,200 children between 2 and 6 are on waiting lists for dental operations which can take over a year to satisfy.  Cost doesn’t figure into the equation since Venter suggested to that services contracted out to Maples “could be even more cost effective” than doing them at hospitals, especially considering the top-heavy administrative overhead.  Peter Dalla-Vicnza , the spokesman for the Minister for Healthy Living, told that the difference boiled down to the fact that Jane’s is a non-profit clinic while Maples is for profit.  However when asked whether it would make a difference if Maples turned non-profit, Dalla-Vicnza responded negatively.  Moreover, after repeated questioning Dalla-Vicnza also revealed that due to a deal with a former government, carried over by the current, there is one private for-profit medical clinic – Western surgical centre – which does receive government funding, thus negating the principal reason stated for the granting of funding to Jane’s while withholding funding from Maples.  The pro-life group Campaign Life Coalition has no official stand on funding of private medical facilities but there are some such facilities it does object to.  In a release yesterday, it called on the Manitoba Government to re-think its decision and withhold funding for private facilities where the only procedure is one which kills a healthy human being and injures the mother.  Jhw