March 11, 2016 9:49 am
Updated: August 24, 2016 6:17 pm

Hundreds plan to protest doctor shortage in Eriskdale, Manitoba Friday

Community members in Eriksdale, Manitoba are holding a rally in front of its hospital Friday morning, after recent cuts to the hospital's emergency room.

Global News

Community members in Eriksdale, Manitoba are holding a rally in front of its hospital Friday morning, after recent cuts to the hospital’s emergency room.

Recently two doctors that worked for the hospital quit, leaving only one left in the surrounding area.

“We do not have enough doctors to provide 24 hour emergency room service,” local councillor Keith Lundale said.

“Patients are diverted to other regions, which can be miles apart.”

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He said this means a patient who needs emergency care in Eriksdale will be taken to other surrounding communities, such as Ashern or Stonewall.

“Patients in the city have an average ambulance wait time of around five minutes,” he added. “Here, it’s 30 minutes.”

Residents of the community are asking the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority to staff more doctors, as soon as possible.

The CEO of the Health Authority, Ron Van Denakker said the emergency room is not shut down and there is still remote support from physicians.

However, he said the entire Interlake region is in need of more doctors.

“We are in a physician crisis,” he said.

“We’re down a significant number of doctors, We need at least 25 physicians to provide the bare minimum services.”

He said the Health Authority is doing everything possible to help the community. Examples include accessing international medical graduates, and trying to get local graduates to practice in their home town.

Residents of Eriskdale and the surrounding area will be protesting in front of the hospital at 10:30 a.m. Friday. More than 200 people are expected to show up, Lundale said

“This is a larger issue for the entire Interlake region, one that has been going on for a long time,” he said.

Van Denakker agrees, saying “we need to roll up our sleeves and work together to solve this.”

© 2016 Shaw Media

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