The emergency department at Concordia Hospital is closed as of Monday, when the urgent care centre in its place opened at 7 a.m.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority called the transition seamless in a news release, saying there was no interruption in service to patients.

Many residents in the area spoke out or rallied against the plan leading up the ER’s closure, the final timeline of which was only announced in the week prior.

In Monday’s news release, Concordia Hospital’s chief medical officer Dr. Ainslie Mihalchuk said it’s estimated 65 to 70 per cent of visitors to the Concordia ER would be appropriate for urgent care.

“We want the public to know that there is really no wrong door, as urgent care centres do have the capacity to stabilize patients and escalate to the appropriate level of care if necessary,” she said.

The urgent care centre can treat patients who walk in or arrive by ambulance for urgent but not life-threatening health concerns, such as broken bones, serious wounds and infections, sprains, dehydration, and urgent illnesses, rashes or fevers.

The ER closure comes as part of a plan from the Pallister government to overhaul the health-care system according to recommendations laid out by consultant Dr. David Peachey.

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The Seven Oaks General Hospital emergency room will also become an urgent care centre in September. The Victoria Hospital ER closed to become an urgent care facility in 2017.

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