Some ambulances to be sent elsewhere ahead of Concordia ER closure
Yellow lawn signs across Elmwood are part of a campaign to keep the Concordia Hospital emergency room open. Homeowner Mercy Yel agreed to put one on her fence.
"Closing it wouldn't be fair," said Yel.
She worries about the loss of the ER in her community.
"That's very scary, that's very scary," said Yel.
The closure is part of the Pallister government's plan to consolidate ER services in Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is taking another step down that road, making changes to where some ambulances are sent.
“So it really is just starting to incrementally move towards that," said WRHA COO Lori Lamont.
As the WRHA prepares for the scheduled June 2019 closure of the Concordia ER, ambulances will direct the sickest of patients away from Concordia to Health Sciences Centre, St. Boniface and Grace hospitals, starting Dec. 10.
“It may be a slightly longer transport, but it's important that you get to the facility that actually is best equipped to meet your needs," said Lamont.
The health authority says space has been added at HSC and the St. Boniface ER is being expanded. It says the ambulance protocol at Concordia will impact seven to 12 patients a day.
“We can spread them across the three acute care emergency departments and we believe that won’t have a negative impact on capacity," said Lamont.
A national report this week showed Winnipeg had the only decrease in ER wait times across the country year over year. The province attributes this to the health care overhaul.
Mercy Yel isn't buying it. She says less isn't more.
"If I was to go to Health Sciences, that's too far and Concordia is right here," said Yel.
Despite the change, the health authority says the ER will remain open at Concordia and the public can still access it 24/7, until the closure.