Changes to rural health care could be coming soon to Manitoba

During a year end news conference with the premier, Brian Pallister was asked if any rural hospitals are set to close.

After a few questions on the subject, the premier acknowledged that it is a possibility.

"They may close or they may become other health care facilities doing other things," Pallister said.

One of those other things could be personal care homes.

Pallister suggested too much money is spent putting seniors in hospital beds in some rural areas.

He talked about health care needing to be centralized and available.

The premier said Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen will be making an announcement about rural health in the near future.

Earlier this year, the province closed several "low volume" ambulance stations in rural Manitoba in favour of building larger regional centres which are better staffed.

Pallister also told media he plans to run again in 2020 and is on track to lower the PST to 7 per cent in his first term.