Ongoing staffing shortages at rural emergency rooms continue to create health-care problems for Manitobans, says the Manitoba Association of Healthcare Professionals.
The association’s Bob Moroz told 680 CJOB’s The Start that the closures and limited hours that are being seen throughout the province are creating a much bigger problem than simply access to those services.
Moroz said the closure of one local ER can be a problem that only compounds itself down the line.
“It’s not only the paramedics on our trucks that are having to travel further distances, for example, to go past the closest ER that may be closed,” he said.
“It’s also the dispatchers, who have one more variable introduced into the world that they all work in.
“Our dispatchers have to be absolutely aware of where that crew is, where the call is, what’s the nearest emergency room, and if they’re available.”
Moroz said when ambulances drive farther than they usually would, in search of an open ER, it takes those staff members effectively out of the loop for longer than necessary.
“Even if a crew goes on a call that takes an hour or 90 minutes longer than it should, because they have to go to a different facility than they would have, that just takes another ambulance out of rotation
“So they have to go down the list and find out when the next available one is, and so on and so on.”OK