Front-line health care survey

By Jim Maloway, MLA for Elmwood

As published in The Herald June 22, 2017

<p>By Jim Maloway, MLA for Elmwood</p>  

<p>As published in The Herald June 22, 2017</p>

Winnipeg’s hospitals have been directed by the provincial government to cut back their expenditures by $85 million, $30 million of which will be found by closing three emergency rooms, including the Concordia Hospital’s ER.

While these downgrades in services will affect health care services throughout the city, the entire northeast quadrant of the city will be left without any readily available emergency care services whatsoever. To say this comes as a surprise to everyone is an understatement. That means 30,000 residents who seek emergency treatment each year will now be directed to join another 70,000 other Manitobans, annually seeking emergency treatment, to St. Boniface or the Health Science Centre’s ER, fighting traffic, increased parking problems and fees, all just to wait at over-stressed ERs.

Elmwood residents rely on Concordia Hospital’s emergency services. They also know that stresses in the health care system need to be addressed. They know the difference between thoughtful and consultative-based efficiencies and arbitrary budget cuts that don’t make sense.

Back in the 1990s, the Conservative government proposed emergency room closures at the Concordia Hospital’s ER in the fall of 1995, but abandoned their plans in the face of community opposition. This is deja vu for many of us, of course; and our hope is that history will repeat itself and the province will abandon these front-line cuts.

Elmwood residents know that seconds count when emergency intervention is required. The government is silent on the effect of increased travel times to ERs and urgent care. Residents also understand the fears that have led to Doctors Manitoba and the Manitoba College of Family Physicians to say that the closure of three of Winnipeg’s emergency rooms will harm patient care and undercut family doctors.

You can play an important role in keeping our ER open by filling in our survey form that will be in your mailbox soon, or by visiting the ‘Keep Concordia ER Open’ web site online at keepconcordiaeropen.com

If you need any assistance on this issue or any other provincial issues, please contact me at 204-415-1122 or email me at Jim.Maloway@yourmanitoba.ca