The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is recommending the Seven Oaks Hospital emergency room be converted to an urgent care centre over the summer.
A spokesperson from the WRHA told CTV News Friday, “Based on the current assessment and to ensure patient safety and safe staffing levels, we are recommending that the conversion occur over the summer. However, a final decision on that has not yet been made.”
The move has been strongly opposed by the Manitoba NDP.
"Everybody in the city is going to be impacted by this, because when the government closed the Concordia emergency room at the beginning of June, St. Boniface had to turn away patients just over a week later. So same thing's going to happen here," said NDP Leader Wab Kinew.
Originally, the provincial government had scheduled the closure of the ER to take place in September.
“The factors currently under consideration include demand and capacity at Seven Oaks and across the system, workforce considerations including the realities of physician and staff coverage, and operational processes,” the spokesperson said. “Other changes at Seven Oaks are still recommended to occur in September as planned.”
A decision on a conversion date has not been finalized.
Union calls early closure ‘irresponsible’
Meantime the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals said moving up the closure date for Seven Oaks is irresponsible.
The union represents more than 3,900 health care workers, including pharmacists, occupational therapists and social workers.
It’s president Bob Moroz said the WRHA should be ashamed.
“The decision to speed up the closure of the Seven Oaks ER was made without the consultation of front-line staff, including our members,” he said in a news release.
“As of yet, there is no plan. How can the WRHA continue to preach patient care to the very people who provide it and are now under so much uncertainty? It’s irresponsible,” said Moroz.
The union representing nurses in the province is also concerned for its members.
“This is their source of income and it's very frustrating for them to have a plan in place, and even if they didn't agree with the plan they knew what was happening and when it was happening. And suddenly plans have changed and they're the last ones to find out, so that's very frustrating," said Darlene Jackson, president of the Manitoba Nurses Union.
The Concordia Hospital ER transitioned into an urgent care centre on June 3, while the Victoria Hospital ER closed to become an urgent care facility in 2017.
READ MORE: Concordia ER now an urgent care centre
-With files from CTV's Jeremie Charron