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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
October 11, 2017

Misericordia Urgent Care Closure

On Tuesday, October 3rd, this Pallister government shut down our treasured Misericordia Urgent Care Centre. This is a huge blow to my Wolseley constituents and could have far-reaching negative impacts across our health-care system.

Coupled with the QuickCare clinic closing across the river from the Forks, the only nearby health facilities for my constituents needing urgent care are now the emergency rooms at Health Sciences Centre or St. Boniface. The Pallister government will have only itself to blame if many of the 39,000 patients who used to be able to go to Misericordia will end up in those waiting rooms.

I have challenged this government repeatedly to justify forcing inner-city residents, many of whom do not have their own vehicles, to travel to the suburbs for care that used to be available in the heart of our community. It's not as if injuries only happen during business hours, and the bus doesn't run 24-7. And, come to think of it, the Pallister government cut funding to public transit this year, as well.

Misericordia urgent care had the highest patient satisfaction, the highest staff satisfaction rating and operated without cost overruns, yet it's the first facility to be closed by this government, and the Misericordia CEO was not even notified in advance. Such disrespectful treatment of the people who make health care possible is simply unacceptable.

I am intensely proud of how our community rallied and spoke up against this damaging cut to front-line health care. Hundreds of my constituents signed petitions. They shared their personal stories with me and attended a rally I helped to organize in support of keeping urgent care in our community. We gave the Pallister government every opportunity to back away from a bad decision. It's not our fault they refused to listen.

Our efforts 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 people who will benefit from that and the health-care providers who will provide needed care, I thank the citizen-activists for raising their voice against this government.

Thank you