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ER closures at Seven Oaks & Concordia will be staggered: report

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ER closures at Seven Oaks & Concordia will be staggered: report
WATCH: The province is taking another look at their plan to close ERs at Seven Oaks and Concordia hospitals. Global's Timm Bruch reports. – Dec 21, 2017

A report unveiled by the province’s Wait Times Reduction Task Force recommends ‘decoupling’ the closure of emergency rooms at Seven Oaks and Concordia Hospitals.

The closures were slated to happen at the same time in late spring/early summer of 2018, but this 384-page report advises the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority be cautious with major changes.

RELATED: First of many Winnipeg ER changes now in effect

“When we first announced our Healing our Health System, we talked about the changes occurring over a six to 24 month period,” explained Lori Lamont with the WRHA.

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“What’s clear to us today is that we will take that full 24 months to complete the changes. We will need to look at how we carefully sequence all the individual changes that need to occur,” Lamont said.

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The very technical report goes through how critical patient flow is to explaining ER wait times, noting that the problem is not as simple as people simply going to an emergency room when they don’t need to.

“All the evidence points to flow beyond the emergency department, through the acute care system, into the hospital and beyond being just as important and arguably much more important than anything that happens in the emergency department,” Dr. Alecs Chochinov, co-chair of the Emergency Department Wait Times Reduction Committee, said.

“It’s a continuum of care, like a river that flows. The concept of ice damming and flooding upstream is directly applicable to the emergency department.”

RELATED: Manitoba health care changes improving system: WRHA

The report lays out many detailed ways to try and improve efficiency in all departments in an effort to free more beds for those who need them. Part of the basis of the WRHA’s hospital consolidation is to accomplish this.

The report also recommends trying to perform more procedures and operate MRI machines more often to get people in and out of hospitals more quickly.

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