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Matt Wiebe, MLA Concordia
March 6, 2017

St. Mary's QuickCare Clinic Closure

When it comes to quick access to health services, Manitobans have been let down by this Conservative government. Instead of having meaningful dialogue with the community and front-line health professionals, this government took a pass and closed the St. Boniface QuickCare clinic. Manitobans know that that isn't right.

Our former NDP team built several QuickCare clinics across Manitoba to provide non-urgent care close to home for families and for seniors. Staffed by nurse practitioners, the clinics were part of a larger movement towards community-based health care that takes the pressure off hospital emergency rooms. QuickCare clinics have been making improvements in wait times with more than 150,000 patients served across six locations.

Many provinces in Canada, in fact, have turned to community-based health-care options to address their long wait times, and Manitoba's been a leader in implementing this model.

The closure of the St. Mary's clinic represents a step backward in access to health care, especially since no additional service options are being suggested.

QuickCare clinics have proven to be an efficient use of health-care dollars. Because they are built in converted store fronts and are staffed by nurse practitioners, the costs are modest while still providing quality service alongside the larger health system.

Many families in Winnipeg, including my own, have come to rely on the clinics' quick and efficient service. The recent closure leaves a big gap in the delivery of health services in our neighbourhoods.

This government didn't even wait for their own consultant's report or their wait-times task force before making the decision to close this clinic, and now we know the status of all remaining clinics is under review.

This government's actions were ideologically motivated, and that needs to change.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.