The province will open a walk-in connected care clinic at Concordia Hospital as it closes the facility’s emergency department.

On Wednesday the province announced the clinic will open in summer 2019. The news comes weeks after it confirmed the emergency department at Concordia would close in June of that year.

The health minister said as many as half of the people who present at Concordia’s ER each day could get appropriate care at the kind of clinic that’s opening.

“The changes will provide improved access to primary care providers in East Kildonan, North Kildonan and Transcona while extending the hours of walk-in care for the community,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen.

The new clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., 365 days a year, with on-site lab and diagnostic services.

It will not be able to treat patients facing urgent or life-threatening health concerns, but the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s chief operating officer Lori Lamont said it would relieve pressure on other ERs in the city.

“People with better access to same-day health care services for illnesses or injuries that aren’t life threatening will have less need to use the emergency department or an urgent care service when it’s not necessary,” said Lamont.

When asked what differentiates the clinic from a regular walk-in clinic, Lamont said there would be a focus on connecting patients with their family doctors for follow-up and further health services when required, or connecting patients who don’t have a doctor with a regular physician.

Sandi Mowat represents thousands of nurses in the province through her role as president of the Manitoba Nurses Union.

Speaking with CTV News Wednesday, Mowat called the clinic a “half measure.”

“It’s only going to serve half the people that previously went to the Concordia, so the concern is where are the rest of the people going to go?”

Following minor tweaks to the hospital, the clinic is expected to be open within weeks of the closure of Concordia’s ER.

With files from CTV's Gabrielle Marchand