Proud of effort to save urgent care center

By: Rob Altemeyer, MLA for Wolsley

As published in The Metro

October 18, 2017

On Tues., Oct. 3 the government shut down our treasured Misericordia Urgent Care Centre. This is a huge blow to our community and could have far-reaching negative impacts across our health care system.

The government was asked repeatedly to explain how shutting down the only urgent care centre in Manitoba was going to make life better, or take any pressure off our crowded emergency rooms. We are all still waiting for an answer to that question.

Coupled with the closure of the Quick Care clinic across the river from the Forks, the only nearby health facilities for my constituents needing urgent care are the emergency rooms at Health Sciences Centre and St. Boniface. The province will have only itself to blame if many of the 39,000 patients seen at Misericordia Urgent Care every year end up in those waiting rooms.

This facility had the highest patient satisfaction rating in the province, the highest staff satisfaction rating, and operated without any cost overruns. Yet it’s the first thing to close.

I am intenselyproud of how our community spoke up against this damaging closure.

Hundreds of you signed petitions, shared your personal stories with me and attended a rally I helped organize in support of keeping Urgent Care in our community. We gave the province every opportunity to back away from a bad decision. It’s not our fault the government refused to listen.

Our ef forts were rewarded with a small silver lining. The government did eventually agree that eye patients needing urgent care will still be seen at Misericordia. On behalf of the several thousand eye patients who will benefit every year, and the health professionals who will help them, I thank you for raising your voice for a better world. The struggle continues.