May 17, 2019 7:05 pm

Transcona residents ‘relieved’ over health-care transformation at Concordia Hospital

WATCH: Community, and political implications are being explored surrounding the changes being implemented at Concordia Hospital. Marek Tkach reports.

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Winnipeggers living in the Transcona area can put their worries over losing services at Concordia Hospital on hold.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen announced Thursday that the emergency room at the Hospital will be replaced with a 24-hour urgent-care centre in the next four to six weeks instead of the walk-in clinic originally planned.

READ MORE: Concordia ER to become urgent care centre as province backtracks on health-care plan

“I think that there will be a sigh of relief. We are going to still have coverage 24/7 because there was a lot of fear,” said Colleen Tackaberry, who heads the Transcona Council for Seniors.

Others members of Seniors Council say having a Hospital in the Transcona area is essential, especially with the neighbourhood’s growing population.

A house in Transcona with a “Keep Concordia ER open” sign on it’s front lawn.

Randall Paull / Global News

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“It’s close. We’ve had to use it several times, many, many times and I’ve been glad to have that service,” Dalsie Cousineau says.

Cousineau says transportation to and from nearby health-care facilities in Transcona is fairly easy, and she’d like to see it stay that way.

“We can get to the Concordia easily ourselves. It’s handy and useful, and we’d like to keep it,”

Health-care changes: A Political tactic?

Some are considering the Pallister government’s decision to keep an urgent-care centre at Concordia Hospital nothing more than a pre-election move.

Christopher Adams, a political science professor at the University of Manitoba says positive announcements surrounding health care are to be expected with an election around the corner.

Dr. Christopher Adams, a political science professor at the University of Manitoba.

Randall Paull / Global News

“The general voter will be very sensitive to what’s happening in the health-care sector, not just those who are near a hospital but those who access these services,” Adams explained.

He also called health care one of the major issues that has the ability to sway voters.

READ MORE: New ambulance routing part of transition at Concordia Hospital

Adams says the government would’ve taken into account what kind of political landscape surrounds the Concordia Hospital.

“Those areas tend to be more working class, and lower-middle class than upper-middle class,” he said.

“Many of those people will be NDP voters traditionally but at the same time the PCs will want to win over the middle-class voters and the soft NDP voters back to them,” Adams concluded.

WATCH: North east Winnipeg residents call for ER to remain open

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