Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew, other NDP candidates, community members, and health care workers gathered at Seven Oaks Hospital Sunday to protest the Premier’s plan to close of its emergency room.
In a release, Kinew shared documents obtained through freedom of information requests which they say show that the Pallister government has cut 90 acute care beds at Seven Oaks since the summer of 2017.
“Pallister is choosing to close another ER despite clear evidence it will hurt patients. When he closed Concordia’s ER, St. Boniface Hospital was so overwhelmed it was forced to turn patients away,” said Kinew.
Documents shared by NDP also show reductions across the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority since the start of the Pallister government’s ‘Healing our Health System’ plan.
Since 2017, the total of acute care beds in the WRHA has dropped from 2,187 to 2,059, the NDP said.
Kinew said more than 7,000 community members have signed a petition to keep the Seven Oaks ER open.
Kinew previously said if elected he would bring back the ER at Seven Oaks.
The emergency room is set to close on Monday.
The closure comes as part of the Pallister government’s plan to overhaul the health care system according to recommendations laid out by consultant Dr. David Peachey.
CTV News has reached to the Health Minister’s office on the number of acute care beds.
In a campaign announcement last weekend Manitoba Liberal leader Dougald Lamont said if elected he would give power back to the local levels of health care through a new health plan.
In a statement to CTV News Sunday, the province’s Health Minister Cameron Friesen said:
“Our government inherited an overly complex health system from the NDP that delivered increasingly poor results over their 17 years in government — including the worst emergency wait times in Canada. Instead of trying to solve the historic challenges our system has faced, the NDP are running an election campaign on a promise to return to that broken, ineffectual system.”
Friesen said the change in the number of acute beds at Seven Oaks is due to a number of factors including the consolidation of surgical and mental health services elsewhere in the health system and the success of several other programs.
He says medical advancements have also allowed for more procedures to be safely done on a day-surgery basis.
Friesen says the province is adding 42 new beds at hospitals around the city and 110 new beds at Miserincordia Health Centre.