The Progressive Conservative’s called questions from the New Democratic Party over cancer drug funding “shameful” and “desperate”.

On Saturday, the NDP put out a news release calling on PC Leader Brian Pallister to answer whether he would cut funding for cancer care drugs if his party wins the April 19 election.

Pallister has refused to rule out cuts in health care, stating that there are “no sacred cows” when it comes to areas where the PCs would cut government spending.

However, the partyresponded to the NDP in a news release, stating “(a)t no time has the PC Party ever said, suggested, or even hinted at reducing patient access to cancer care treatment. We did not and we will not.”

Later in the release, Deputy PC Leader Heather Stefanson scolded the NDP for using cancer patients for political ends.

“Never before have Manitobans been exposed to such a desperate campaign of fear and lies from a sitting premier and his government,”

Currently, the province covers 100 per cent of the costs of cancer drugs.

“Manitobans already know they can rely on the NDP to keep health care public and to keep investing in cancer care for everyone,” NDP Leader Greg Selinger said in a news release.

The NDP has repeatedly accused Pallister of having a hidden agenda to privatize Crown corporations and government services. Although he has ruled out privatizing Crown corporations, Pallister has left the door open to private services in health care, pending promised consultations with front-line workers.

"I'm not looking at privatization in the sense of our existing systems, but I'm open-minded to looking at improving our systems," he said on April 13.

The PCs criticized the NDP’s record on health care, citing longer ER wait times than other parts of the country, low doctor retention, and high ambulance fees.

The PC, the NDP and the Liberal parties have all put forward various proposals for lowering or eliminating ambulance fees.

- With files from The Canadian Press