Concordia still set to lose ER, becoming urgent care centre following review
Growing patient volumes and a "problematic" timeline. The Pallister government is making changes to Winnipeg's health care overhaul following a recent review of the plan.
"There is broad consensus among providers in the system that it is the right plan. It goes further to say these current timelines were not workable," said Health Minister Cameron Friesen.
Friesen says Concordia Hospital's emergency room is still set to close in four to six weeks. But instead of replacing it with a connected care clinic, a full urgent care centre will be put in place because of increased patient volumes.
"We've seen a 12 per cent increase in ambulance volumes in Winnipeg hospitals, we've seen an 11 per cent increase in patients presenting who require hospitalization," said Friesen.
The Manitoba Nurses Union calls the move a half-measure.
"We need an ER at Concordia, it has a huge catchment area, they see a lot of patients there," said Darlene Jackson, president of the Manitoba Nurses Union.
The ER at Seven Oaks Hospital is still set to close in September and become an urgent care centre. But all other system changes are being delayed by six months, allowing health care leaders to build what the province calls "control measures" with the aim of "strengthening" patient safety and stabilizing the entire system.
"What we're doing here today is announcing this is a government that listens, this is a government that's willing to make its plans adaptable,” said Friesen.
Opposition leader Wab Kinew accuses the government of trying to fix a rushed plan leading up to an early election call.
"It seems like they’re just trying to diffuse and do damage control, and lost in that equation is care for patients," said Kinew.