Phase 2 rollout of health care changes in Winnipeg behind schedule
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says further closures to the city’s emergency rooms won’t happen until mid-2019 at the earliest.
Closing Misercordia’s Urgent Care Centre and converting Victoria Hospital’s ER to an Urgent Care Facility happened on schedule last fall, but that’s not happening with phase two of the health care changes.
The closure of Concordia’s ER and the conversion of the Seven Oaks ER to an Urgent Care Facility were supposed to happen some time this spring, but been pushed back more than a year.
In December a report unveiled by the province’s Wait Times Reduction Task Force recommended staggering the closures of the two ERs and the rollout date was pushed back to spring 2019.
Now the WRHA is saying the hospital ERs will only close after the work to expand the Grace Hospital and St. Boniface Hospital ERs is done.
“St. Boniface will become for many people the closest hospital. It is important we look at that capacity being ready to go,” Lori Lamont Acting Chief Operating Officer for the WRHA said.
The work on the Grace Hospital ER should be done this May or June, but tenders only went out for the work at the St. Boniface Hospital Wednesday, and the work isn’t expected to be done until summer 2019.
Changes at Seven Oaks and Concordia won’t happen until after that work is complete.
The Manitoba Nurses Union questions why they hadn’t thought it all through before making the first round of changes.
“All the decisions should’ve been made before they started making these changes period,” union president Sandi Mowat said.
“I think in the planning stages they should’ve looked at the St. Boniface and the capacity from the get go. They should’ve looked at the Grace …they should’ve looked at the capacity of HSC and then made their plans from there and made closures after all the revisions were done.”
Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen said they wanted to see phase one roll out before deciding what to do with the St. Boniface ER.
“You needed to actually see what our flow was looking like coming out phase one before we could make the decision on the size and scope before phase two,” he said.
The WRHA said it will be several weeks before new dates are released for closing emergency rooms at Concordia and Seven Oaks.
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